This is my original item. see the one that appeared in the star. The item in the main paper did not even carry the picture. it deserved only scant coverage. The online version has the picture. I think UMNO's good works are not appreciated by the star. It would have gone a long way in endearing Umno to the Indians in Cheras. What to you think if it was an MCA deputy minister or minister?
CHERAS: MARCH 21: THE Education Ministry today approved a RM200, 000 allocations for SRJ (T) Cheras to carry out immediate remedial works.
Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Faud Zakashi made the announcement after visiting the 70-year-old school along with state education department officials.
“This is a short term measure. The allocation is for the school to do remedial works,” he told a press conference after spending nearly one hour inspecting the school which has long been struggling to raise funds to provide a better environment for the about 350 pupils.
“I have noticed that the pupils are studying in congested classrooms with poor ventilation. I have heard from the parent teacher representatives that the roofs leak in a heavy downpour.”
Dr Faud also promised to propose to the ministry to build a new block to replace the dilapidated school and would alert the education planning and research department (EPRD) of the ministry to study and provide a solution.
“I do not know whether it would be a three-story block. It all depends on the EPRD,” he said.
Dr Faud who is also the Member of Parliament for Batu Bahat said he would provide inputs to the ministry’s EPRD based on today’s observation and suggestions from the stakeholders of the school.
He also noted that SKJ (T) Cheras being one of the 151 fully government aided Tamil schools in the country will not be neglected. The other 372 such school are partially aided.
Though the school is situated in an opposition party held area, he said the government will not sacrifice the future of “our children” because of political expediency.
He said the government will be building six more Tamil schools, including three in Selangor, one each in Johor and Kedah.
“In Selangor one of the schools will be located in Taman Mahkota Cheras,” he said.
“Between 2009 and 2011 the Government has spent RM300 nillion for Tamil schools in the country and this goes to show the government commitment towards the community.
Asked what was the ministry doing to arrest the declining pupil population in Tamil schools in the country, Dr Faud said besides infrastructure improvements the ministry was also improving the quality of education in these schools.
“Through the School Improvement Programme under the ministry we have managed improve the standard education in a few Tamil schools and due to this these schools record higher enrolment,” he said without specifying the schools.
On the lack of Tamil school teachers, he said the problem would be resolved by December.
He said as the committee responsible for resolving issues involving SKJTs, which was initiated by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has proposed several measures to resolve the issue.
He declined to reveal the measures, saying the Prime Minister would have to be informed first of the proposed measures.
He also added that the lack of Tamil school teachers was partly due to the current corps of existing ethnic Indian teachers whose first option is not Tamil.
Under the ministry policy only teachers qualified with Tamil as their first option can be sent to Tamil schools