JOHOR BAHRU: The number of non-Chinese students at Chinese independent schools across the country has been increasing since 2006, and Sabah has the highest number of non-Chinese students.
A total of 875 non-Chinese students are currently studying at Chinese independent schools in Sabah, said Tan Tai Kim, president of the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong).
Sarawak has a total of 230 non-Chinese students, followed by 172 in Johor, 156 in Penang, 90 in Kuala Lumpur, 44 in Perak, 39 in Selangor, 20 in Negeri Sembilan, 18 in Melaka and three in Kedah.
As of 2021, there were 1,647 non-Chinese students studying at Chinese independent schools throughout Malaysia, he said.
According to Dong Zong’s records, there were 663 non-Chinese students at Chinese independent schools throughout Malaysia in 2006. And the number of non-Chinese students increased each year to 1,647 last year, said Tan after attending the Malaysian Social Entrepreneurs Foundation (MESF) Appreciation and Handover Ceremony 2022 – Johor held at Southern University College on Wednesday.
Tan received MESF’s RM1,648,000 scholarships for non-Chinese students at 63 Chinese independent schools in the country from the foundation’s president Datuk Seri Lee Kar Whatt.
A scholarship will be offered to one non-Chinese student from each Chinese independent school to cover the tuition fees for six years.
Tan said the good discipline and availability of three languages offered at Chinese independent schools attracted non-Chinese parents to send their children to these schools.
The Chinese language which is gaining increasing prominence is another factor for parents to consider Chinese independent schools.