Zahid (second left) helps Hang Yi Keong, 9, put on a new school bag at the event. —Bernama photo
BAGAN DATUK: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday gave the assurance that no National Type Chinese School (SJKC) in the country would be shut down, even if their enrolment was low.
He said this stand of the federal government was reflected in the continued operation of 454 SJKC which had an enrolment of 150 pupils or less.
“The government has also never marginalised the 1,298 SJKC in the country.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the government has approved 10 new SJKC in the country, the construction of which will begin next year.
“You have my word that no SJKC will be shut down. This should give the parents and teachers peace of mind and they can concentrate on achieving greater heights (in education),” he said when launching the ‘Back to School’ Programme organised by the Bagan Datuk MP Service Centre and the Bagan Datuk District Education Office at SJKC Chong San in Rungkup here.
Ahmad Zahid, who is the MP for Bagan Datuk, said the government would continue to provide aid, pay the salaries of teachers and recognise the board of governors at every SJKC with low enrolment.
“The important thing is for the parents of the SKJC pupils to pay close attention to ensuring that their children excel in their studies,” he said.
Elaborating on the matter at a press conference later, Ahmad Zahid said the government had never made any distinction between the mediums of instruction and would continue to assist schools which taught in their own mother tongues.
“This dismisses the allegations that the government will close these schools, as well as the National Type Tamil Schools.
“It must be understood that the question of education and multi-racial harmony must be respected and, in this matter, the policies implemented by the Prime Minister should be regarded as a strong commitment,” he said. — Bernama