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Government will not close under-enrolled schools without agreement of parents, local community — Minister



Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will not close under-enrolled schools (SKM), despite having to spend RM2 billion a year to run them, totalling 2,996 across the country, said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

He said based on analysis, the cost of operating schools with enrollment of 150 students and below was high, at RM67,130.65 per student a year, compared with only RM5,321.84 per student a year for normal schools.

He said this being that the ministry still had to send a minimum of seven to 11 teachers to each school, apart from other cost, such as tender for school cleaning.

“The ministry opines that despite requiring huge allocation, the ministry’s policy is clear that the under-enrolled schools will not be closed until it is agreed by the parents and the local community,” he said.

Mahdzir said this in response to a question by Abdul Rahman Mohamad (BN-Lipis) during the Minister’s Question Time (MQT) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Abdul Rahman wanted to know the long and short term plans by the ministry in running under-enrolled schools to reduce and prevent wastage in government’s expenditure.

However, Mahdzir said the ministry was implementing the SKM Direction Plan by re-grading the schools concerned and merging schools which were located within a certain radius.

He said as of March 31 last year, the number of under-enrolled schools comprised 2,058 national schools, 578 Chinese national type schools and 360 Tamil national type schools. — Bernama