Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tamil school still waiting for building after 20 years

It would have been a heart-warming view - a vernacular and a national school co-existing in the same compound.

But that is where the feel-good story ends.

NONESekolah Kebangsaan Tok Pawang and Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil Sg Tok Pawang share the same compound, but it's a different story with the canteen.

SJK(T) pupils have been denied access to the canteen. This was decided by SK Tok Pawang teachers after frequent quarrels between the pupils of the two schools.

The SJK(T) PIBG then organised a makeshift canteen for the 170 Tamil school students at a corridor behind the building.

Students of both schools also do not share classrooms.

Twenty-three years ago the students of the Tamil school were accommodated at SK Tok Pawang after they had to abandon their own building due to pollution caused by the nearby Lee Rubber building.

The Tamil school received a new lease of life when the Kedah state government allocated 5.5 acres of land to build a new school on April 3 this year.

Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak, accompanied by deputy P Ramasamy and the current state exco S Manikumar, attended the groundbreaking ceremony to a joyful atmosphere of excited schoolchildren and parents.

At the event, he said that the state government is giving the land to the school without any premium charge. They have also waived the assessment and the school needed to pay only a token sum of RM10 for the land.

This happened about eight months ago. The situation has not changed since then.

'Education Ministry's problem, not ours'

SJK (T) Tok Pawang students still share the school building with SK Tok Pawang pupils. There is no sign of a new building being built on the land that was given to the Tamil school.

Azizan had, at the groundbreaking ceremony, clearly indicated that the state government had done their job by giving the land.

It was now up to the school to negotiate with the Education Ministry to obtain the RM1.6 million needed to build the school.

Jerai MP Mohd Firdaus Jaafar said that now the ball was in MIC's court to "pressure the minister (of education) at the federal level to make sure the building gets built."

Balasingham, 35, says that he had been waiting for the school to be built since the day he left the school when he was 12.

His daughter now attends the school in Standard 1, but nothing has changed.

At the moment, students have no choice but to go about their familar routine of sharing the same compound and building, and having their meals under a a makeshift canteen.

Thus far, there is not even a hint of a new school building emerging on the land provided to them.

All you can see is the tractor used by the Kedah menteri besar during the groundbreaking ceremony. It sits forlornly by several oil palm trees, a sad reminder of what should have been.

Watch the video


seals : Thanks to Malaysiakini with their new way of reaching the real news of Malaysia, from the "rakyat" itself.

Is this 1MALAYSIA?

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