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Charles Santiago

Posted by : Admin Direktori Blog | Isnin, 26 September 2011 | Published in

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Charles Santiago


Will parents please speak up?

Posted: 26 Sep 2011 08:41 AM PDT

Hannah Yeoh

(ADUN Subang Jaya)

While I was browsing through the Ministry of Education’s website, I came across this circular issued recently : Pelaksanaan sistem pilihanraya ketua murid di sekolah-sekolah.

I feel very passionate about this issue. I grew up as a prefect in school and back then, we held elections to select our Head Prefects. Our peers were given the choice to select their own leader. Students worked hard to shine. They acquired leadership skills and were able to practice them in school.

However, with the issuance of this circular by the Ministry of Education, students in school can no longer have a say in choosing their own leader. The principals of the schools can now appoint anyone they wish to be Head Prefect/School Captain.

This is how the Barisan Nasional government wants to educate our students : to tell them at a very young age that they really do not have a choice and they must accept whoever is given to them to be their leader. Favoritism is being promoted here and this circular effectively robs students of the democratic experience and it retards their growth. It kills the chance for these students to know what choice is.

So if you are a parent and your child may have all the qualities which present him the opportunity to lead, this circular has just taken that opportunity away from your child. And will you remain silent?


Prefects resign en masse … in protest over ‘biased’ newly-elected, including Form 4 head boy

Posted: 26 Sep 2011 12:35 AM PDT

Monday, September 26th, 2011 10:46:00

THE Klang High School is in crisis mode as 16 prefects resigned en masse following what they claim is a breach of protocol and bias in the appointment of new prefects.

It is believed what sparked the move by the multi-racial group were newbies being appointed deputy head prefect and assistant secretary with immediate effect. The straw that broke the camel's back was a newly-appointed Form Four student being made head prefect.

According to parents of some of the prefects who quit — eight Form Four boys, five Lower Six girls
and three Lower Six boys — they had resigned following the school's Sept 15 decision to appoint seven
new prefects who did not undergo the standard probationary period.

According to them, while the 16 students had to undergo 14 weeks of probation, the new prefects, which included two Lower Six students, also took their posts as deputy head prefect and assistant secretary with immediate effect.

The 16-year-old head boy, however, underwent probation. Five other new prefects comprise three Form Four
students and two Lower Six students.

On the Sept 19 installation day at the morning assembly, the 16 students told a teacher, who was to
announce the names of the new appointees, they were stepping down.

According to some of their parents, who preferred anonymity, they were concerned with the message being sent to these impressionable young minds.

"My child said a teacher told a Lower Six class the present batch of senior prefects were good for nothing," the parent claimed, adding other parents were afraid to come forward, fearing their children would be "marked".

Another parent said he was in disbelief this was taking place at an established school.

"I cannot believe this is happening in a school that has been around for more than 80 years. Such a thing should not happen in an established school like Klang High.

"The school administration must rectify this situation. I brought this matter up with several teachers and they said it is almost impossible to get the headmistress to discuss this as she is adamant about her decision."

The Malay Mail visited the school twice and was told headmistress Huzaimah Bahari was "very busy".

The school’s senior assistant (student affairs), Sahrudin Kasman, declined to comment, saying the matter must
be referred to the headmistress.

However, a senior teacher, who declined to be named, said procedures pertaining to the appointment of prefects were done unfairly.

He said never in the history of the school had a Form Four student been made head prefect.

The teacher said while the headmistress inevitably made the final decision, the selection committee did not include the Prefectorial Board advisor and assistant advisor — the two teachers who are always present in the selection process.

“This has forced the parents to question the criteria used for the selection of prefects. If the selection has always been done with the original committee members and the headmistress, why was it done differently this time?” the teacher asked.

The school’s Parent Teacher Association chairman, Dr Desmond Lee, said he would meet with the school administration today.

“Several parents have brought the matter to my attention and I will meet the headmistress and teachers who are said to have made the decision.

“There must be a logical explanation. If it was justifiable or with sound reasoning on how the selection process was conducted, I am sure the students themselves will accept it, but an explanation
must be given.”

On July 12 last year, the school came under the spotlight when it dissolved three non-Islamic societies set up
in 1969.

The school had blamed the Selangor Education Department for a circular it issued to this effect in 2000.

At the time, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong clarified the circular meant permission from the State Education Department needed to be obtained for societies formed after 2000.

On the present issue, Wee, in a text message to The Paper That Cares, raised his concerns, saying he would study the matter before commenting.

Meanwhile, Klang MP Charles Santiago, who was approached by some of the parents, urged the ministry to
investigate.

"These are impressionable young minds. The school owes them an explanation or they will take this matter
into adulthood," he said when contacted.

"I am all for meritocracy and if a junior person can do a better job than someone more senior, then by all means
appoint the younger person.

“But if there are doubts over the fairness of the new appointments, then someone must set the record straight


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