TAMIL SCHOOLS AND MALAYSIAN SOCIETY
MIC has been in the forefronts to make certain that Tamil language and culture are an integral dimension of the multi lingual and multi cultural society of Malaysia. Furthermore, the MIC continues to play a very active role to see that, Tamil school education stands on par with other primary school education. Tamil schools are a national heritage and a distinctive component of the Malaysian education system.
We have seen tremendous improvements towards Tamil school education. While some people decry the drop in the number of Tamil schools from 888 in 1957 to 523 in 2007, they fail to acknowledge that there is a tremendous increase in the number of students currently enrolled in Tamil schools. The increase is 108 percent. In 1957 there were only 50,766 students as compared to 105, 618 students in 2007.
We have seen a huge increase in the number of teachers currently employed by the Ministry of Education. In 1970 there were only 3,258 teachers as compared to the current 7,126 in 2007. This is an increase by 118.7 percent over the past 37 years. These teachers are our valuable assets and we must encourage and nurture them as agents of community change. It is these teachers who are working hard to make sure that qualities and standards improve.
A clear indication of educational improvement and excellence is reflected through the UPSR results. We see a gigantic leap in the number of students securing 7As when we compare the available data. In 1995, 45 Tamil school students secured 7As but in 2007 we saw an increase by 1,173.3 percent as the number of 7A students has risen to 573. This is a mammoth improvement and therefore with concerted effort we can see further advancements.
Another quantifying measure of examining educational improvements is to analyse the subject by subject performance of the UPSR results. Over the past 10 years we see incredible improvements in the number of passes noted in subjects. In some subjects such as Maths and science, their performance is as good as that of the national schools.
However, we must acknowledge that there will always be room for improvements. It is therefore necessary that during this symposium we must clearly articulate the necessary areas for improvement and chart out an action plan to resolve them over the next 10 years.
NUMBER OF SCHOOLS AND ENROLLMENT
There were 888 Tamil schools in Malaysia in 1957 with 50,766 students. This number of Tamil schools has dwindled over the last 50 years due to development of estates into housing and commercial areas. Therefore there are 523 Tamil schools in 2007 with a total of 105,618 students.
Of the 523 schools there are 327 under-enrolled Tamil schools where there are less than 150 students. 149 schools out of the 327 schools have fewer than 50 students.
Year 1980 -
589 tamil schools
547 tamil schools
524 tamil schools
524 tamil schools
523 tamil school
In the meeting it was announced that 11 schools out of 22 schools will get a new lease of life. These schools will be fully rebuilt with all teaching and learning facilities. The schools are SJK(T) Bangi, SJK(T) Ladang Semenyih, SJK(T) Ladang Tumbuk, SJK(T) Glenmarie, SJK(T) RRI Sg Buloh, SJK(T) Ladang Sabak Bernam, SJK(T) Ladang Sg Bernam, SJK(T) Ladang Midlands, SJK(T) Ladang Bute, SJK(T) Ladang Ampar Tenang and SJK(T) Ladang Valamrosa.
SJK(T) Kajang will receive a five storey building at the cost of RM3.3 million under the special allocation from the Ministry of Education. The Parents- Teachers Association of the school has also contributed a substantial sum for the rebuilding of the school. The construction work would be commenced at any time, said Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu. Once the building is built, SJK(T) Kajang will be the only Tamil school in the country with 5 storey building.
Other 11 schools will either be partially rebuilt or upgraded. The schools are SJK(T) Ladang Coalfields, SJK(T) Ladang Ebor, SJK(T) Ladang Bukit Ijok, SJK(T) Ladang Sungai Rambai, SJK(T) Ladang Changkat Asa, SJK(T) Ladang Kg Baru, SJK(T) Ladang Sungai Terap, SJK(T) Ladang Acob, SJK(T) Ladang Selangor River SJK(T) Brauston and SJK(T) Brafferton
In addition to these, Samy Vellu said that the Selangor Menteri Besar has also allocated RM1.2 million to relocate and rebuild SJK(T) Seaport from Sungai Way to Kampung Medan where there is high density of Indian population. It is expected that once that school is built, it would ease the overcrowding at SJK(T) Vivekananda, Petaling Jaya.
The ground breaking ceremony for the school will be held on 13 Wenesday by Selangor Menteri Besar, YAB Dato Seri Khir Bin Toyo and YB Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu.
New Tamil Schools
He also indicated that a new Tamil school would be built in Taman Tun Sambathan in Sungai Siput as one of the ways to reduce the overcrowding in SJK(T) Mahatma Gandhi Kala Salai which currently has 951 students and is expected that the number would go up to more than 1,000 students in 2009. Besides that, one more new Tamil school would be built in Putra Height, Puchong.
RM 20 million for Tamil schools
In another development, Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu announced that the government has approved an additional sum of RM20 million for this year to change the old face of several Tamil schools. According to him, the second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohd has agreed to set aside the amount for rebuilding Tamil schools. These include the rebuilding of SJK(T) Sangeetha Sabha in Ipoh. Names of other schools are being finalized.
Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu hopes that with the sufficient allocation from the government, all Tamil schools in the country could be equipped with the latest learning and teaching facilities.
# RM4 million for 22 Tamil schools
# Seaport Tamil school will be rebuilt in Kg Medan
# New Tamil schools to be built
# Additional RM20 million for Tamil schools
The plight of 22 Tamil schools in Selangor has drawn the attention of Selangor Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) YAB Dato Seri Khir Bin Toyo. Several portions of the schools are in dilapidated condition. They either need to be rebuilt or upgraded. These schools are classified as partially aided schools and located in the rural areas.
Due to the dilapidated condition, the schools also face greater problems in accommodating the increasing number of students as there are shortage of classrooms. In some schools teachers have to conduct classes in the canteen due to shortage of classrooms.
To address their plight, Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu said that Selangor Menteri Besar has allocated RM2 million. Apart from that Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu has secured an additional RM2 million from the Education Minister, Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
In this regards, Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu had a meeting with the 22 headmasters/headmistresses on 6 February 2008. At the meeting he discussed the allocation and action plans to upgrade the school buildings. He requested Datin Azizah, Director of School Division of JKR who was also present in the meeting to get the work completed as soon as possible.