Principal must explain action

Saturday August 18, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/8/18/nation/11881361&sec=nation

By SARBAN SINGH
newsdesk@thestar.com.my

SEREMBAN: A school principal, who allegedly compelled her teachers to donate 2% of their bonus to be given as duit raya to students, will be asked to explain her act.

State Education director Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Razak said a report would be compiled and submitted to the Education Ministry for action.

“The school did not get our approval to do so. We are investigating and will ask the principal for an explanation.”

Abdul Halim was commenting on a report yesterday about the secondary school principal who had apparently told some 90 teachers to donate the money to spread Hari Raya cheer to students.

However, this did not go down well among the teachers as well as some parents who felt that duit raya should be given sincerely and not out of compulsion.

The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) has also objected to the move.

It is learnt that the teachers, who had received a half-month bonus from the Government on Aug 9, had to contribute between RM30 and RM50 each.

Apparently, the students were given the RM3 duit raya after school on Wednesday. The school has some 1,400 students.

The principal defended her action, saying it was meant to spread goodwill and that she herself had donated RM1,000 of her own money.

To a question, Abdul Halim said the principal could have meant well but her action was not necessarily correct.

There were a number of calls to The Star yesterday from people saying they were teachers of other schools, complaining that they, too, had been compelled by their principals to make payments for various school activities.

“Teachers are being made to pay out of their own pockets, although it is the role of the Parent-Teacher Association to do so as they collect fees from students at the beginning of the year,” said one teacher.

One teacher claimed that apart from paying a monthly fee to the NUTP, most teachers are also required to pay a minimum of RM60 to Kelab Guru.

Still, there were those who commended the headmistress’ action.

One reader of The Star, Krishna Kumar, said the school principal should not be criticised.

“The teachers should be proud of having a dedicated principal as she was just trying to build a good relationship between them and their students,” he said.

In Kuala Lumpur, Lim Wey Wen reports that Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the ministry did not subscribe to this practice.

“You cannot force anyone to give 2% of their bonus as contributions,” he said.

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