‘School de­ci­sions must not con­tra­dict reg­u­la­tions’

New Straits Times - - News | Issues -

PADANG TERAP: School ad­min­is­tra­tors are re­minded that de­ci­sions made at the school-level should not con­tra­dict reg­u­la­tions and cir­cu­lars is­sued by the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry.

Its min­is­ter, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, said while school ad­min­is­tra­tors were given the free­dom to make ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sions, they should not touch on the sen­si­tiv­i­ties of the coun­try’s mul­tira­cial so­ci­ety.

He said school ad­min­is­tra­tors should play the role of unit­ing pupils of dif­fer­ent eth­nic and re­li­gious back­grounds, in­stead of in­cit­ing racial sen­ti­ments.

“Schools ad­min­is­tra­tors may think out of the box in mak­ing de­ci­sions, but it has to be in line with reg­u­la­tions and cir­cu­lars is­sued by the min­istry.

“De­ci­sions must be made in the spirit of unit­ing our mul­tira­cial peo­ple, in­stead of touch­ing on re­li­gious and eth­nic sen­si­tiv­i­ties,” he said af­ter open­ing the Padang Terap Umno del­e­gates’ meet­ing here in Kuala Nerang.

Mahdzir, who is also Padang Terap mem­ber of par­lia­ment, was re­spond­ing to news re­ports that a pri­mary school in Hulu Lan­gat, Se­lan­gor, had sep­a­rated drink­ing cups used by its Mus­lim and non-Mus­lim pupils.

Mahdzir said it was gov­ern­ment pol­icy to nur­ture unity among pupils of all races and re­li­gions.

He gave his as­sur­ance that the Se­lan­gor Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment would in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

The school’s pol­icy of hav­ing sep­a­rate cups for pupils was a hot topic on so­cial me­dia yes­ter­day, spark­ing de­bate among Ne­ti­zens on the treat­ment of nonMus­lim pupils in schools.

The school’s au­thor­i­ties de­clined to com­ment, but Deputy Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Datuk Chong Sin Woon has urged the Se­lan­gor Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment to launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion soon.

Par­ent Ac­tion Group for Ed­u­ca­tion chair Datin Noor Az­imah Ab­dul Rahim said such in­ci­dents had be­come a wor­ry­ing trend in the coun­try.

Se­lan­gor Ed­u­ca­tion De­part­ment di­rec­tor Mohd Salleh Mohd Kas­sim said the de­part­ment had in­ves­ti­gated the mat­ter and the la­bels sep­a­rat­ing drink­ing cups for Mus­lims and non-Mus­lims had been re­moved.

He also urged the pub­lic not to make a big is­sue of the mat­ter and to put it be­hind them.

“The ini­tia­tive was taken by the head­mas­ter in ques­tion af­ter see­ing that pupils liked to drink from the wa­ter dis­penser with­out cups. So, the school put up the la­bels.”

“How­ever, the move did not sit well with the par­ents,” he said dur­ing a dengue pa­trol cam­paign in SK Seksyen 9 here yes­ter­day.

Salleh said the head­mas­ter had in­formed the PTA be­fore putting up the la­bels.

“But the is­sue is in the past and the de­part­ment hopes that pupils will use their own cups and bot­tles,” he added.

BY AMRAN HAMID PIC

Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (at the podium) open­ing the Padang

Terap Wanita Umno, Pu­teri and Youth del­e­gates’ meet­ing in Kuala Nerang yes­ter­day.

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