Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Signature campaign to demand the building of a new Tamil school at Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan

05/01/2011 - Kuala Pilah Tamil School issue – let's see if BN government has learned the lessons of the 2008 general election and will be more sensitive and responsive to the needs and demands of the Indian community.

Kuala Pilah Tamil School was built over 60years ago. Presently it has a student population of 180students. The school is too crammed in a half acre area.

Kuala Pilah has a size able number of Indians as the Indians used to work in the many rubber/oil palm estates found in and around Kuala Pillah. Presently 5.5% of the total voters here are Indians.

For some time, the local Indian community and the Parents Teachers Association (PIPG) have been requesting for a new school to be built in a bigger area so as to accommodate the ever increasing student population.

Many parents prefer to place their children other than this Tamil school as the environment in this crammed up school is in just not conducive for study. Toilets are even situated so close to the classrooms!

The Negeri Simbilin DAP leadership headed by YB P. Gunasegaran, (Senawang), M/s Kamachee (Wanita head of Pahang) together with concerned locals and PIPG representative had a meeting in Kuala Pillah 28/12/10.

It was resolved at the meeting that a signature campaign should be launched to bring to the public domain the utter lack of governmental attention to resolve this issue.

Negeri Sembilan Exco VS Mohan has been vague and has made uncertain statements about the setting aside of land to the school.

At one juncture he was reported to have said a piece land has been identified but this was refuted by the state education department. In fact, the plight of Kuala Pilah Tamil School is not an isolated one.

The enrollment in Tamil schools in the country has been increasing by leaps and bounds.

In 1957 there were less than 50,000 students in over 1000 Tamil schools. Now with only 534 schools, Tamil school population has more than doubled to over 100, 000 students. The increase is because the interest to pursue mother tongue education has been picking up drastically over the last few years.

Other than the interest to learn mother tongue, the other pivotal reason has been the Islamilaziation polices in national schools which has discouraged many non-Malays from sending their children to these schools. Presently over 90 per cent of Chinese parents and 60 per cent of Indian parents send their children to vernacular schools.

The government must respect the parents’ right and provide sufficient support to build or provide enough schools.

Given the crammed condition of Kuala Pilah Tamil School, I must empahsise that there must not only be enough schools, but schools whose environment which are conducive for study.

NS EXCO member VS Mohan, MIC and the Ministry of Education must get the NS government to give a piece of land to build a new Kuala Pilah Tamil School.

The government must also abide by the guidelines spelt out in "Garis Panduan Untuk Pemilik Tapak Projek-projek Pendidikan" by Education Ministry of 1997. It says a school should be built in an area between 2-4 hectares.

Can this be achieved or it will be a dream only!

Let’ s see whether the BN government has learned the lessons of the 2008 general election and will be more sensitive and responsive to the needs and demands of the Indian community.

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