Tamil Schools Discussion
TAMIL SCHOOLS – discussion
Ravi: Hi Guna, I need to ask you something which is really bothering me for sometime, there are about 1700 temples for 3 million Indians in Malaysia, It does not makes sense, but we still continue building temples and fighting for it.
Guna: What are you comparing with?
Ravi: We only have 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia and its getting lesser but the number of temples are growing but the Not Tamil schools. I give you some details :-
Number of Tamil Schools and Enrolment
Year 1957 1970 1980 1990 1993 2000
Number of schools 888 657 589 547 547 524
Number of Student 50,766 79,277 73,958 96,120 104,600 90,280
Guna: But you got to know that every Friday, some temples in the cities are earning merely RM500 (RM2000 per month), not even being able to pay electricity and water bills. In some temples, there are no pooja due to high cost. On the other hand, Tamil schools receive RM50 per child per year, electricity and water bills, teacher’s salary and maintenance are taken care.
Ravi: Most temples in cities are renovated, air conditioned, and have a beautiful hall. Some Tamil schools were built before the 70’s still remain the same, with broken tables and chairs, old fans and lights and even the “buku pinjaman” is torn. This is an unpleasant environment for the pupils and teachers. I have not seen one Tamil school with air condition, except for the headmaster’s room. If you know of any, please let me know. I will salute the person who built it.
Guna: I think it is not true Ravi.
Ravi: Let’s look at the Batu Caves temple that has an RM2 million Lord Muruga Statue built by the temple with the donation money from public. On top of that, almost RM10 million is being spent every year for Thaipusam.
Guna: The government doesn’t spend money on temples.
Ravi: Do you know that the Government had spent money for temples? For example, the Batu Caves temple has received RM3.6 million allocation from the Tourism Ministry for facelift, including a pedestrian walkway. On 29 Jan, 2010 the Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said the RM3.6 million allocation was given on August 2009 for upgrading works for the comfort and convenience of the temple devotees and tourists. Among the new facilities are additional parking space including 56 bays for buses and 190 for cars, pedestrian walkway, fencing at the main entrance and lightings. While the drainage system has been improved. Check the temple website for more details.
Guna: Slowly, the Government is also increasing aid efforts for Tamil schools through Yayasan MyNadi. Do you have the breakdown of Tamil schools by State and Zone?
Ravi: Yes, I do. Please check in the website.
BREAKDOWN BY STATE
BREAK DOWN DATA BY STATE and ZONE
Negeri Sembilan: https://mynadi.wordpress.com/tamil-school-data-negeri-sembilan/
Guna: Wow! That is great Ravi. Since you have the breakdown, what has MyNadi done so far? Is there any tangible project?
Ravi: Yes! To kick start as a pilot project from the first phase of Aid to Tamil Schools in the Stimulous Package, MyNadi has identified 34 Tamil schools in various states, both under BN and Pakatan state government. This shows that the aid is given based on the needs of these schools. The amount that MyNadi has aloocated is about 10 % of the proposed RM50 Million. Almost all 34 schools have an urgent need for basic furnitures and other facilities. These are items which can be rapidly delivered to these schools . The construction and renovation works listed can be done within a short span of time.
Guna: Do you have breakdown for that?
Ravi: Yes. The break down is as follows :-
No Area Number of Schools Cost ( RM)
1 Kawasan Selangor and Kuala Lumpur 19 2,248,130.00
2 Perak 6 285,000.00
3 Daerah Segamat, Johor 8 2,570,000.00
4 Kedah 1 104,000.00
Total 34 5,207,103.00
Guna: What are the works done and facilities provided with the above allocation?
Ravi: The following 3 categories were looked into :-
1) FURNITURES such as chairs and desk, canteen benches and long tables, cupboards, shoe racks, teacher’s tables and chairs, plastic chairs and file cabinets.
2) FACILITIES such as computers, ceiling fans, wall fans, white boards (4 x 8 feet), notice boards (softboard), portable PA system and fax machines.
3) STRUCTURES such as “Pondok Bacaan” (additional study area), toilet facilities, fencing, floor, painting and roof repairs.
By focusing on these issues, it is hoped that upon delivery of these aid, the community will believe that there is a genuine intention from the PM to help the Tamil schools. Through this, MyNadi calls on those who were reluctant earlier, to come forward with their list.
Guna: What about new building blocks for some schools?
Ravi: Oh yes! My Nadi’s first project was SRJK (T) Senawang, which is situauted in a flood prone area and had plenty of damages. The PIBG has pledged for a new block since 2000. On 17th March 2009 the school’s PIBG approached My Nadi regarding their plight. Through MyNadi’s channels, a letter of approval was given by the PM, RM4.9 million was granted to build a four storey building on higher ground. The school building is expected to be completed in May 2010. Below is picture of SRJK (T) Senawang, Negeri Sembilan which is now in the verge of completion.
Guna: Wow! Wow! Wow! That is really fast work Ravi. How did you guys pull it off? But, I see in the Tamil press that Hindraf and the others are claiming that they are the ones who initiated the SRJK (T) Senawang aid works. Why is it so?
Ravi: Ha ha ha! Let them claim the credit. There are 2 things that I would like say here :
1. Tell them to do the same on their own, to other Tamil schools which are in the same or worse condition.
2. Our concern is people first! The Indian community should benefit in the end. We dont carry our collars.
Guna: Okay, what about Tamil schools with rundown buildings and wornout facilities? Has MyNadi looked into these areas?
Ravi: Yes. MyNadi has also done wiring works for Effingham Tamil school in Bandar Utama. JKR quoted RM120,000 for the job. MyNadi managed to assign a Malaysian Indian contactor for the same task, for only RM72,000 with additional VOs. You can see the pictures for yourself.
Ravi: Before I forget, earlier in 2009 JKR had allocated RM46, 000 for SRJK(T) Sua Betong, Port Dickson’s toilet renovation. The government contractor refused to renovate as the allocation was not sufficent (according to the contractor). The governement contractor estimated RM 65,000 only for toilet renovations. The PIBG approached My Nadi in early Dec 2009. MyNadi promised to renovate SRJK(T) Sua Betong. My Nadi took the task to renovate/construct the facilities (canteen, store room and toilet) as required by the school.
Ravi: MyNadi assigned a local contactor to renovate/construct the facilities (canteen, store room and toilet), with additional task in wall partitions and built new wall with a budget of RM 123, 000.
Guna: What about the famous shop lot Tamil School in Lukut?
Ravi: Oh Yeah, the Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Sungai Salak, Lukut, which has been operating from a two-storey shoplot for the third year with 120 pupils. The school was granted RM 2.83 million to for building blocks and field. The school was also converted to a FULLY AIDED schoo. Further, it is not to be combined with SJK (T) Kem Tentera as planned earlier. The PIBG has been working on acquiring additional 4 acres of land for the school.
Guna: Isn’t the matter been pending for sometime now?
Ravi: Oh, yes. All necessary documents have been submitted to My Nadi. SRJK(T) has received a one-hectare plot of land from the government for a school building to be ready in 12 months.
Guna: When is it expected to start?
Ravi: The handover of the land ownership was held at the site of the new school to underline the sincerity of the Prime Minister to help the Indian community. The building is expected to go up on May 2010 with the RM2.83 million funding.
Discussion with SRJK(T) Escot, Hulu Selangor, Requesting for a van
Guna: What about other facilities, besides land, buildings and renovations?
Ravi: MyNadi met with the SRJK (T) Escot, Hulu Selangor PIBG. The school has requested for a van in December 2009.
Guna: Van? Why the school needs a van?
Ravi: The school is situated about 3km from the trunk road and there is no bus services in to the school. Many pupils have to walk for a distance of 3km to and fro daily. A request from the PIBG to MyNadi to arrange a van for the school’s pupil transportation.
Guna: Do you recall in the 80’s the standard of Tamil schools and Chinese schools were in the same level as Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan. I remember Malay parents sent they children to Tamil schools. But today, look at our Tamil schools and compare it with Chinese schools. Now Indian parents send they kids to Chinese school. The Chinese school pupil come in Mercedes or Toyota but you don’t see that in Tamil schools. Most of the Chinese schools are not Non Government support.
Ravi: Yes I agreed to you. There are many factors
1. The Tamil School Delima
One of the weakness advocates of Tamil education is the lack of governmental intervention. Public spending on Tamil schools to date has been woefully lacking.My NADI has urged the Education Ministry to look into the matter. Tamil schools in general perform poorly compared to the national and Chinese schools.This is an inherent problem particularly among estate schools and poor leaderships.These are under achieving schools that have the potential to improve but due to lack of opportunity and motivation and the prevalent bad conditions, they are not able to reach their full potential The odds are against these children who come from poor homes and study at poor schools.
2. The budget allocation for Tamil schools in the 7th Malaysia plan (1996-2000) was reduced to half, only RM 10,902,000 or about 1.02% of the total allocation for education. The allocation for the Tamil schools in the 8th Malaysia plan is expected to far exceed previous amounts as the development of opposition politics and the activism and demands of the NGOs.
3. The crux of the problem is the status of these schools. As they are located on private estate land, they fall under the “model school” category which means that they are only partially aided by the Government.
4. Under the Education Act 1995, schools located on private land are not eligible for a full grant from the Government. As a result, these schools are forced to source their own funds for their basic infrastructure, including additional classrooms.
5. The Government should look after the infrastructure of all schools equally. All schools should receive full aid from the Government. It appears that the national schools are favoured while Tamil schools are like the stepchildren. This creates a learning environment which is not conducive, with the lack of adequate infrastructure and sufficient basic facilities.
6. Teacher shortage: The pathetic state of Tamil education is worsened by the shortage of trained teachers. It was reported that there were vacancies for more than 1,000 teachers in Tamil schools. Ministry of Education confides that temporary teachers are recruited to overcome the problem — Tamil schools have the highest number of temporary teachers.
7. Most of the Tamil schools are pathetic and disheartening. The Tamil students attend classes in a run-down school while the peers less than a kilometre away are enjoying a spanking new building, life seems rather unfair. Dilapidated, the building lacks basic facilities such as classrooms, proper toilets, telephone and even a canteen. Instead of having access to a large field, a school hall, with lack of science laboratories and a computer laboratory have to cope with the bare necessities. The school has an enrolment of 500 students but no field, no laboratory or library, staff room for teachers or even proper toilets for students.
8. Most Tamil schools face the same problem. In fact, many are worse off — no canteen, no proper roofing, and sometimes, no classrooms even. “It is very demotivating. Both the students and teachers feel quite dispirited when they see the big disparity between the two schools. There classrooms are separated by plywood. There are also only two toilets for the 500 students and there is no field for sports.
9. Not enough funds
Unfortunately, not much progress has been achieved since independence. Off all the 523 Tamil schools in Malaysia, of which 360 are estate schools, with a track record of being backward.
10. While their urban counterparts moan about the lack of computers, these estate schools grapple with fundamental problems.
Guna: There is long way to go, Anyway ……..