Monday, July 6, 2009

A School on Stilts

Kg Sebako is one of the many villages that dotted the Island of Bruit. Here on the plains of Kg Sebako of the Island of Bruit of District of Mukah, Sarawak, they have another idea on how to build a school. Due to the location of the plains of Kg Sebako which situated at the river mouth of Sg Sebako and facing the sea, high and low tide is a constant threat. As a measure to counter the threat, the school was built on stilts.

The stilts erected are of the chosen timber, which can withstand saltwater for a constant and prolonged period of time, the ‘belian’ timber. After all, ‘belian’ has served the people of Sarawak eons ago in providing them the material to build their homes. Still to this day, a lot of houses in the rural areas of Sarawak are built on stilts.

The school was aptly named Sek. Kebangsaan Kg Sebako. From a distance the school looks neat and tidy. Wooden plank connects the school to the main road of Kg Sebako. The school perimeter is fenced with a security post at the main entrance. There are blocks for classrooms and teacher’s office, a kitchen and teacher’s living quarters. Wooden planks connect these blocks with each other.

Kg Sebako is a fishing enclave. The majority of the small population depends on the sea and its bounty for their living. All the children are schooled in Sek Keb Sebako for their primary education. Some made the cut and have to move out of the island to further their studies. While some has chosen to stay and continuing the tradition of their forefathers to become fishermen. The school is so central to their lives since that is their childhood playground and men folk gather very evening for a game of football on the school field.

Due to its remoteness and reasons best known to the politician, Pulau Bruit is still underdeveloped. No tarred road, no electricity and no piped water supply. Not even the simplest mean of medical facility exists. Never mind, come next election the same politician will be all over Kg Sebako asking for votes.

The entire school depends on a huge generator operating 24-hours a day for its electricity. Supplier will come at intervals to supply fuel for the generator. However, water comes very cheap in Sek Keb Sebako. All they have to do is to pray for the sky to open up. The school has no less than 25 blue-colored big PVC tanks to store rainwater and from the tanks it will be distributed to every block. For years teachers and staffs of Sek Keb Sebako has been using rainwater for their washing, cooking and drinking.

Piped water or no piped water, electricity or no electricity, the teachers will keep on teaching and the students will keep on coming to that school on stilts.


  1. i've seen this school before. it's not far from my mother in low's house at sebako.

  2. u must go there often right? how bout salai lumek?

  3. i'm seldom going there. that's why my mother in low always bring me salai lumek and kerepek keladi when she arrived at ckei,

  4. by the way, what is the name of your father in law?