Thursday, November 13, 2008

Artificial turf for schools?

The Star

SHAH ALAM: The Education Ministry is looking into the possibility of using artificial turf in some schools as the maintenance cost was cheaper compared to managing real fields.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the ministry was pioneering the use of artificial turf in certain areas to see if it worked.

“All Singaporean schools use this but we are not sure if this will prove suitable for us as it is quite a different feeling compared to playing on a real field,” he told reporters Thursday after presenting a trophy to the football team from SK Alam Megah 3 for winning the Piala Raja Muda Selangor 2008.

He said the ministry was upgrading the fields of the 34 schools involved in the football competition as a reward as the effort put into the event “went over and above the call of duty”.

“The cost of repairs for the field of this particular school, SK Sekyen 24 which hosted the competition is RM198,000 as it had drainage problems,” he said.

The other school fields might not have the same problems so the cost of repairs could be less, he added.

“It is impossible to reward all 10,000 schools due to the cost factor,” he said.

Fields for new schools built under the Ninth Malaysia Plan would be located at the front of the school, rather than at the back or at the side, he added.

On the possible contest between Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and her deputy Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Hishammuddin who is Umno Youth chief, said he prayed that whatever decision was made at the Wanita level would not affect the ability of its members to close ranks after the party elections next March.

“This is what I hope for the Youth wing too,” he said.

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