Cracks put school buildings at risk of collapsing

Unstable ground: Huge cracks can be seen on the ground at SMK Ringlet in Cameron Highlands.

IPOH - Two blocks of building at SMK Ringlet in Cameron Highlands are in danger of collapsing after huge cracks started appearing on the ground.

The school's Parent Teacher Association chairman V.P. Selvam said the cracks at its school hall and a two-storey block had widened over two years and the buildings were in a precarious state.

"The first crack was small and appeared some two years ago. It then started to get bigger and about two months ago, the two blocks seemed to have tilted and sunken slightly into the ground," said Selvam.

"We became anxious for the safety of our students and informed the Public Works Department about the matter," he said. He added that the two blocks had been cordoned off after the Public Works Institute (Ikram) - which conducted tests - deemed them unsafe.

It is learnt that the school was built on a disused farm land in 2004. An underground water stream is believed to be a factor that caused the soil underneath the two blocks to loosen, causing the structural integrity of the buildings to be unstable.

Selvam said about 300 pupils from Form One to Form Three had been left without classrooms for their Kemahiran Hidup subject as one of the blocks housed classrooms which were used for cooking and workshop lessons.

"We just don't have enough classrooms to accommodate the students and the school has decided to suspend the Kemahiran Hidup subject temporarily. The Pahang Education Depart­ment has been notified of our predicament and we hope to get some assistance and allocation to fix the problem," he said.