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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Only one not three students transferred out of SK Seri Pristana, says Education Ministry


Only one student had transferred out of SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh and not three as was previously reported, said the Education Ministry.
The ministry said that based on its investigations, only one pupil had requested for a transfer from the school after she was allegedly bullied by teachers.
"It is entirely up to parents to choose which school to enrol their child in. However, if claims that the school administration or teachers had caused an unwelcoming environment or harassed any pupil are true, stern action will be taken against those involved.
“The ministry is currently investigating the validity of these allegations,” it said in a statement released yesterday.
Parents at a press conference on Wednesday had claimed that at least three non-Muslim pupils had left SK Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh and 10 others are to follow – the result of alleged intimidation following the shower room incident.
They said that the parents of 10 other non-Muslim pupils will be transferring their children out of the school following the arrest of a parent for allegedly intimidating the headmaster.
The three who left earlier said they were intimidated and bullied by school authorities after the issue of non-Muslim pupils being ordered to have their recess in the school's shower room surfaced.
Non-governmental organisation Malaysia Tamilan Today Welfare Association national secretary K. Gunasegaran said these parents have lost all faith in the school's headmaster and teachers.
"We don't see any other way as these pupils are being harassed and bullied in the school, just because their parents spoke up," he said during the press conference.
There are 25 non-Muslim pupils among the 1,400 enrolled at the school.
The school became embroiled in this controversy about a month ago when a parent uploaded a picture of non-Muslim pupils eating in a shower room during Ramadan following a directive from the headmaster.
The picture went viral and subsequently 18 police reports were lodged against the school and the headmaster.
The ministry insisted that it considered the issue to be solved as several measures had been taken to rectify the situation such as closing the changing room and upgrading the school canteen to accommodate more pupils.
“The school’s headmaster, senior assistant and teachers have been twice advised on the need to maintain the harmony of pupils from various races."
“We hope that all the parties, including teachers, parents and the local community, will play their roles in establishing a harmonious and conducive environment at the school".
It is learnt that the school’s senior assistant Rohayah Omar lodged a police report yesterday, against two dailies over their reports that the school’s teachers had harassed their pupils.
She said the allegations in the newspaper reports had caused the teachers to be emotionally distressed and to be fearful of their safety. 

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