Thursday, April 15, 2010

Container for a Classroom

On this last day of our HELP for Haiti donation drive, we collected RM45, thus giving us a grand total of RM8,100. The last and final thing that we are going to do is to inform our HELP management because they have promised to top up. My personal wish is that we can boost our total collection so far to surpass the RM10k figure.

I greeted yesterday’s news with disbelief! According to the Star (April 14, 2010, p M2), it seems that there is a school in the city of Kuala Lumpur where 600 students are studying in six 40-foot long containers, which serve as their classrooms. It’s been four long years but the pupils at Hidayatul Mustaqimah primary school in Jinjang Utara are forced to study inside the hot stuffy containers – filled with 30 to 35 children at one time – after a landslide damaged their original building in April 2006. This school has two sessions a day, morning and afternoon. And I bet you this is not the only school that is either abandoned, dilapidated or neglected. Doesn’t anybody care at all? If Malaysians continue to trust BN, this state of affairs will surely flourish!

And this morning, I devoured Praba Ganesan’s article “Upsizing our schools” featured in The Malaysian Insider today, which prominantly highlighted the maligned state of education in the country. Let me reproduce his first three lines: “Malaysia underperforms in basic education. In mapping out and distributing resource, sustaining workable control protocols from Putrajaya, creating effective management teams to run the schools and rebuilding syllabus which now lack sync with ability-leveraging. The country’s long-term competitiveness is at stake, thanks to this poor show”. Like all right-thinking Malaysians, we can attribute this malaise to the politicization of Malaysian education. Need I say more?

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