TELUK INTAN: The Perak education department has proposed to merge two micro Chinese primary schools in the district of Bagan Datoh, namely SRJK (C) Hwa Nan in Selekoh, and SRJK (C) Simpang Tiga three kilometers away.
Although the SRJK (C) Hwa Nan board chairman and parents have opposed to the proposed merger, 16 of the 19 parents from SRJK (C) Simpang Tiga have agreed to the merger in a recent survey.
People concerned about the local Chinese education are shocked by the responses of the parents of SRJK (C) Simpang Tiga, worrying that this could open up a crack that would eventually lead to the merger of more micro SJKCs, further slashing the number of Chinese primary schools in the country.
When contacted by Sin Chew Daily, SRJK (C) Hwa Nan’s board chairman said the school board, parent-teacher association and parents were strongly against the merger with SRJK (C) Simpang Tiga.
He said the school, a semi-subsidized Chinese primary school, had an enrollment of 11, including four Chinese, five Malay and two Indian students.
The incident has since drawn the attention of Bagan Datoh Chinese secondary school development committee’s adviser, who told Sin Chew Daily after contacting SRJK (C) Simpang Tiga’s PTA members that the school sent out 22 copies of questionnaire to the parents on 3 August as instructed by the education department, and of the 19 responses received, 16 agreed to the merger with SRJK (C) Hwa Nan.
“I was shocked by this. I contacted the school’s board chairman with the hope the school authorities would let the parents understand the reality and consequences of the merger, and send out the questionnaire again so that parents can give a more informed response.”
SRJK (C) Simpang Tiga is a fully subsidized Chinese primary school with 56 students, including 39 Chinese, eight Malays and nine Indians.
According to the older residents of Selekoh, historically SRJK (C) Simpang Tiga used to be a branch of SRJK (C) Hwa Nan before it became an independent school.