By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Dec 8: Sarawak Dong Zong calls on the federal government to allocate fixed annual funding to 60 Chinese independent secondary schools throughout Malaysia.
Its chairman Temenggong Datuk Vincent Lau said Chinese independent secondary schools have contributed to the country’s development and nation-building despite not being part of the nation’s mainstream education.
“Chinese independent secondary schools share the same noble objectives of all national (SMK) and national-type (SMJK) secondary schools in Malaysia to provide quality education.
“The students of Chinese independent secondary schools should also be eligible for the educational resources and financial assistance provided by the government.
“According to the 2020 statistics published by Dong Zong, there are approximately 85,000 students enrolled in the 60 Chinese independent secondary schools within the country.
“The average education cost is over RM5,000 per student.
“We would like to urge the federal government to allocate fixed annual funding to the 60 Chinese independent secondary schools in the country,” he said during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.
Before that, Lau and Sarawak Dong Zong members including deputy chairman Datuk Pau Chiong Ung, secretary Johnathan Chai and treasurer Datuk Richard Wee paid a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the latter’s office.
Lau recalled that former Chief Minister the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem had allocated RM3 million in education funds to the 14 Chinese independent secondary schools in Sarawak in 2014.
He noted the amount hadincreased by RM1 million annually and the Sarawak government allocated a total of RM42 million in the last seven years.
“This financial assistance definitely provides considerable help to relieve the financial burden of the schools.
“We are grateful that this is also endorsed and fully supported by our YAB Chief Minister.
“This year, we received a RM9 million education fund and YAB has also agreed to the upper limit of RM10 million allocation,” he added.
Lau said the association is grateful to Abang Johari and the state government for recognising the contribution of Chinese education to Sarawak and the country.
On another note, Wee who is also the chairman of the Board of Management Committee for Kuching Chung Hua Middle Schools (CHMS) No.1, 3 and 4 also expressed his appreciation to the state government for allocating 15.29 hectares of land within the Samarahan Division to Chinese independent secondary schools so that it could generate revenue to support the running of the schools. — DayakDaily