Political leader slams plan to merge classes with low number of students

Yu Chin Liik

KUCHING, Mar 1: Parti Bumi Kenyalang president Yu Chin Liik today appealed to the federal government to discard discriminatory policies that can affect the development of Chinese education adversely.

He opined that the government’s plan to merge classes of less than 30 students of different grades and to be taught by a single teacher would affect 22 of the 222 Chinese primary Schools in Sarawak.

Yu said such a policy might “become a new way to gradually eliminate Chinese primary schools”.

The Education Ministry recently announced that combining classes in primary schools with fewer than 30 students was among the measures to be implemented to address teacher shortage issues nationwide.

Yu pointed out that one lesson takes about 30 minutes, but when two classes of different grades are merged, it basically meant the period for each lesson is halved.


“The implementation of this policy will eventually deteriorate or shut down Chinese primary schools,” said Yu in a statement today.

“As we all know, the right to mother-tongue education of all ethnic groups is a legitimate right that is clearly protected by the United Nations. The primary schools of all ethnic groups represent their basic right to maintain the survival of all ethnic groups.

“For the Chinese in Malaysia, Chinese primary schools are the root of Chinese education. The Malaysian Constitution recognises the right of all ethnic groups to have mother-tongue education. This is a fact.”

Yu reckoned that rural Chinese primary schools were facing a serious shortage of students due to rural-urban migration.

However, closing down such schools is not the answer. They should, instead, be moved to urban centres, he argued.

On a related matter, Yu said the Pakatan Harapan government’s U-turn on recognising Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) had created much anxiety and disappointment among the Chinese community. — DayakDaily