Wee: Enrol more students or be relocated

Thursday September 6, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/9/6/nation/11977933&sec=nation

By SARBAN SINGH
sarbans@thestar.com.my

SEREMBAN: Chinese and Tamil schools with poor enrolment over several years should be relocated, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

And their management should make efforts to increase the student population if they had no plan to relocate, he said.

“There are at least 20 Chinese primary schools that have fewer than 20 students each,” he pointed out yesterday.

“The schools’ boards of governors should decide how they can save the schools by relocating them before they are forced to shut down.”

An under-enrolled school is one that has fewer than 150 students.

Dr Wee said, of the 1,294 Chinese vernacular schools nationwide, 455 were under-enrolled.

However, he could not provide statistics for the number of Tamil vernacular schools that had similar problems.

“However, the figure is higher than that of Chinese schools,” he added.

There are 523 Tamil schools in the country.

Dr Wee said although the Government had never shut down any vernacular school previously, parents would not send their children to a school which had low enrolment.

He said since 1999, the Government had helped to relocate more than 80 such Chinese vernacular schools.

“These schools were moved to densely populated areas and today enjoy high enrolment,” he said at the official opening of SJKC Tung Hua at S2 Heights near here.

The school, which was in Ladang Tanah Merah, Port Dickson, and opened in 1938, had to be relocated after its student population dropped to two.

The ministry allocated RM3.8mil for the construction of the new school while IJM Land donated a 2ha piece of land in the new township of Seremban 2.

On a separate matter, Dr Wee urged the people to provide feedback on the national education blueprint that will be launched by the Prime Minister on Sept 11.

“This is important as the ministry wants a solid education policy in place until the year 2025,” he said.