KIULU: Schools in the Kiulu countryside are set apart from others due to the unique opportunities presented by the area’s growing prominence as a tourist destination.
Most primary schools, such as SK Kitapol, SK Mantob, SK Pahu, and SK Malangang, to name a few, are situated along the river and are surrounded by a lush environment, positioning them as potential eco-tourism schools.
“Schoolchildren are used to seeing tourism activities taking place in their areas. There are camping grounds and hiking trails, exposing these schools to tourists who are interested in seeing what it’s like to go to school in a more rural setting,” said Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.
“The schools can take the initiative to add value to the learning process by incorporating tourism into the children’s extracurricular activities and projects that promote the local area to visitors,” he added.
Joniston, who is also state Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, remarked that adding tourism to a rural primary school can serve to promote the area’s distinctive qualities and advantages while also raising students’ understanding of the importance of tourism.
Such, he said, would provide support for the urgent need to renovate and update facilities at remote schools to make them more conducive for pupils and welcoming places for visitors.
Joniston engaged with members of the Kiulu Zone Headmasters Association led by chairman Jerome Goromon Rongot to discuss concerns and necessities required by respective schools.
Goromon had also remarked on the promising future of education in Kiulu, noting that many parents had moved back to the village to run tourism businesses, and their children had enrolled in local schools.
He suggested there is a need for a dialogue session with the Parent Teacher Association and the community to gather input, not just about school development and infrastructure but what everyone can do collectively to boost the profile of rural schools in Kiulu.
In the meeting, the group requested funds to improve the school canteen, the muddy road leading to the school, and fencing, among others. They also sought Joniston’s help to assist in expediting any requests made to relevant authorities.