Royal concern over rundown facilities
By Aziz Idris

Awang Semaun Secondary School (SMAS) came under royal scrutiny when His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam took a detour from his working visit, as part of the keys presentation ceremony at Wasan Vocational School in Kampong Limau Manis, and made a surprise visit to the 27-year-old school yesterday.

Situated in Kampong Sungai Kebun, by the side of the Brunei River, SMAS is the only secondary school at present in the Kampong Ayer area.

His Majesty, who visited the school in 2007, was concerned over metal beams used as safety barricade at the school, holes in classroom ceilings, broken faucets in science laboratories and cracked walkways.

His Majesty raised his concern over the current state of the school building and the premises in general.

The monarch spent a good hour at the school asking questions to students and teachers on various aspects such as adequate textbooks, sufficient amenities, security of the school compound and safety.

During His Majesty's visited to the school on August 6, 2007, the Bulletin had reported, "The school's mini stadium and football ground, which are in a sorry state, came under close scrutiny." The ruler had enquired whether the matter had been reported to the relevant authority and when it was reported.

Currently, the school has 1,178 students from Year Seven to Secondary Five (Year 12). The school building consists 17 blocks. These include the Administration Block, Arts Rooms, Canteen, Store Room, Science Lab, English Language Lab, Computer Room, Surau, Geography Room and about 60 classrooms. There are also two separate blocks for Woodwork and Technical Drawings.

His Majesty toured most of the school blocks and accompanying the ruler was Minister of Development Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman and senior officials from the Ministry of Education.

The Bulletin was told that the school's administration has lodged complaints to the relevant authorities on the deteriorating conditions of the school. - Borneo Bulletin (27th October 2010)