Puad: Only students above 16 can collect donations – with parental consent

Friday August 10, 2012 MYT 6:40:00 PM

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/8/10/nation/11832024&sec=nation

By DERRICK VINESH

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Only secondary school students above 16 years old are allowed to solicit for public donations, and only with their parents’ consent, said Deputy Education Minster II Dr Mohd Puad Zarkarshi.

He added that prior to asking for donations, their schools and Parent-Teachers’ Associations (PTA) must get approval from the state Education Department, which would then notify the nearest district police on such activities.

“Students are also not allowed to collect funds during their school hours,” he told reporters after presenting a grant for RM200,000 from the ministry to rebuild a burnt building in SMA Al-Ahmadiah Al-Ijtimaiah here on Friday.

On Tuesday, the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) said government schools should not make students solicit public donations.

Its president, Hashim Adnan, said government schools were restricted from doing so even if they had obtained permission from their respective education departments. Hashim said such activities had risks for both primary and secondary students, adding that there was no reason for schools to resort to such means of financial sources when the government provided them with financial assistance.

Mohd Puad said all schools must strictly abide by the Education Ministry’s circulars pertaining to collection of public donations.

Mohd Puad said the ministry would take necessary action against schools that did not abide by the circulars when carrying out fund-raising events.

“Public donation collection outside the school involves the safety of the students, and we do not allow students below 16 years old to go out and solicit for funds,” he said.

He also cited cases where parents brought their children’s school jogathon fund-raising cards to their workplace to solicit for funds from among their peers, which was also not right.

He urged parents to lodge reports with the ministry and called on the NUTP to provide information on recalcitrant schools that made use of underaged students to collect public donations.