S’wak Dong Zong requests exemption to form PTAs in Chinese primary schools

Lau (centre) flanked by Wee (left) and Pau (right) during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today (Dec 8)

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Dec 8: Sarawak Dong Zong has called on the Education Ministry to exempt the formation of Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) in Chinese primary schools in Sarawak.

Its chairman Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau said the Ministry of Education has instructed that all the government and government-aided primary schools to set up PTA latest by March 2021.

He stressed that Chinese primary schools in Sarawak have the board of management which plays similar roles and functions as PTAs.

“Currently, 70 per cent of the Chinese Primary Aided Schools in Sarawak have the school boards of management with no PTA.

“Considering the fact that there are overlapping responsibilities of two bodies and to avoid confusion as well as conflict, The United Association of Chinese Primary Aided School Boards of Management has successfully obtained exemption from setting up PTAs in Chinese primary Aided School in Sarawak.

“The board of management in Chinese primary schools have contributed tremendously to the wellbeing of the school and their efforts should be recognised.

“Therefore, we appeal to the federal government to uphold the exemption from setting up PTA in Chinese primary aided schools in Sarawak,” he said during a press conference at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

Earlier, Lau and a few board members of Sarawak Dong Zong paid a courtesy call on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the latter’s office.

Among the board members who were present were Sarawak Dong Zong’s deputy chairman Datuk Pau Chiong Ung, secretary Johnathan Chai and treasurer Dato Richard Wee.

Chai concurred with Lau that it was unnecessary to create another body which has the same function and responsibilities.

He noted the board of management in Chinese primary schools also have parents as representatives in the board.

With the creation of PTA, he opined that it will form duplication of roles and the board of management in Chinese primary schools could be sidelined.

Meanwhile, Chai also called on the Education Ministry not to exclude computer classes in the normal teaching hours in primary schools. The Education Ministry had disallowed computer classes be taught during the normal teaching hours.

Thus, he added that he does not rule out seeking fee based computer classes in Chinese primary schools without affecting the number of teaching hours for teachers in schools. — DayakDaily