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Thursday, August 29, 2013

SK Seri Pristana incident 'only a small problem'

The SK Seri Pristana incident where students were made to eat in changing rooms was only a “small problem” compared to other schools that have done well in integrating its students, said Deputy Education Minister II P Kamalanathan. 

NONE“We have as of yesterday’s count 10,094 schools in this country. We have 90 to 95 percent of schools that have done very well on national integration. 

“Here we have one school; one person, who did not follow the policy. We should not say that the entire schooling system is like that,” he said. 

He added that the Education Ministry’s disciplinary division is investigating the school’s headmaster, Mohd Nasir Mohd Nor (left), over numerous complaints lodged against him over the incident, but he has yet to be briefed on its outcome. 

Kamalanathan was speaking at a forum themed ‘Education as a leveller or divider?’ in Kuala Lumpur today, where the moderator, Noor Azimah Abd Rahim, asked him to comment on the issue. 

Canteen must be opened all year round

He also told the forum that it is government policy to ensure that canteens are operating year-round, including during the fasting month to cater for students who were not fasting.

“This is where the parents and teachers’ association play an important role. They must ensure that the school (administration) understands that.

NONE“If the canteen is closed, fine, but make sure there is enough food being sold during that fasting month,” he said.

The Sungai Buloh school came under the spotlight during Ramadan this year, when it was alleged that its non-Muslim students were supposedly forced to eat in the changing room.

Kamalanathan had explained on July 24 after visiting the school that the decision was made much earlier in March because the canteen was being renovated.

When confronted by angry parents that day claiming that the decision was in fact made at the beginning of the fasting month, he pledged that the ministry would investigate the matter.

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