The Education Ministry is taking proactive measures to address the issue of abandoned teachers' quarters across the country.
Minister Maszlee Malik said the action would include restoring a number of quarters, leasing the quarters to private and government agencies, including the state government, as well as modifying the function of the quarters.
He said currently, the ministry had 50,257 quarters throughout Malaysia, of which 33,893 units (67.44 percent) were occupied while 16,364 units (32.56 percent) were vacant.
Out of the vacant quarters, 10,062 units were in poor condition and could not be occupied, most of which are located in rural areas.
“Before this, the issue was serious, but since last year we have taken several actions to resolve it after discussions with the ministry’s agencies, the private sector and the state government.
“For example, through the Kedah government, we have leased our quarters to the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah International Islamic University owned by the state government,” he said.
Maszlee was speaking to reporters after attending an event at SMK LKTP Belitong in Kluang.
On the ministry's preparedness to tackle the haze issue that may affect the pupils and students who were sitting for the UPSR and SPM, Maszlee said all state education departments have standard operating procedures.
“They will always be in touch with the Environment Department. Any alarm or warning will be issued by the department and the state education department will follow the existing SOP,” he said.