Posted on July 6, 2012, Friday
by Peter Boon, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SIBU: Chinese independent schools are looking forward to the day when the government adopts a more compromising approach towards them despite not being a part of the mainstream education system.
Sarawak United Association of Private Chinese Schools Management Board president Temenggong Vincent Lau Lee Ming said it was their fervent hope that the government would understand their aspirations one day as they too contributed to the development of the nation’s human capital.
He reiterated that they needed government assistance to reduce their financial burden for running and maintaining the 14 Chinese independent schools in Sarawak.
“We hope the government can understand that even though Chinese independent schools are not a part of the mainstream education system, we have continuously educated the younger generation to help meet the country’s human capital needs.
“Those having completed their education in these schools also contributed towards nation building. And because of this, we hope the government can give us assistance, including grants, to a certain extent,” Lau told The Borneo Post.
Met after the ‘Program Wanita Bestari’ at UCA here on Wednesday, he was asked on the RM10 million allocated to Chinese schools in Sarawak from the RM125.8 million recently announced for the state by Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi for school repair and upgrading.
The function was jointly organised by the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) and UCA Sibu Women’s section.
More than 200 participants turned up at the function and were introduced to the Consumer Tribunal Claims, including the Consumer Protection Act 1999.
Lau, who is also UCA Sibu honorary president, said based on his understanding the allocation (RM10 million) was meant for Chinese primary schools and not for Chinese independent schools.
He said this might be because with over 200 Chinese primary schools in the state, the Chinese community might not be able to come up with sufficient fund for their maintenance.
On the other hand, he said, the board of management was still able to source enough fund to maintain the Chinese independent schools in reasonable condition.
“We can’t afford luxury but strive to keep the school buildings and facilities in reasonable conditions,” he said.
Asked on plans to roll out consumerism seminars in Chinese independent schools, he said they did not have such plan for now but would leave the options open for UCA, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and others to explore.
“Of course, if there is any topic or issue that we think is very relevant to the students, we will definitely look into organising seminars together with government agencies.”
Earlier, Lau said such programme would enable people to be more familiar with the functions of respective government agencies.
Both MDTCC state director Wan Ahmad Uzir Wan Sulaiman and organising chairperson Lau Ek Hwang also spoke at the function.