October 01, 2006 12:12 PM |
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- Thousands of parents can look forward to a better educational environment for their children following the Education Ministry's move to approve the rebuilding of another 38 Tamil schools throughout the country.
In announcing the much-awaited decision Sunday, MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein had approved in principle to rebuild the schools under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP).
The works minister said the 38 Tamil schools to be rebuilt at an estimated cost of RM49 million, were selected as they required immediate repairs as some of them were in a deplorable condition.
Expressing happiness over the approval, he said 20 were fully-aided while 18 were partially-aided or 'bantuan modal' government schools.
He said another 37 Tamil schools were rebuilt under the Eighth Malaysia Plan of which 16 were partially-aided government schools.
Samy Vellu released the list of the 75 schools at a media conference after opening the Malaysian Indian Youth Council's (MIYC) 13th general meeting here.
Currently, there were 523 Tamil schools in with a student population of more than 100,000. More than a quarter of these schools require major repairs.
Among the schools to be rebuilt under the 9MP is Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Kangkar, Pulai, in Johor where some 250 parents demonstrated in front of the school last Friday, claiming that the school buildings were unsafe as they were literally falling apart.
Samy Vellu said the Public Works Department (PWD) had been directed to hold discussions with the Education Ministry over the scope of work, including the design and costing.
"I have directed the PWD to speed up work on the Tamil schools and have asked the department to furnish all the necessary requirements, including the layout plan within a week," he said.
The minister said the rebuilding of the 38 schools included upgrading of the infrastructures and construction of new school buildings, some at new sites due to urbanisation and increase in the student population.
"These are schools with existing licenses (approved by the Education Ministry), but some will be relocated with additional buildings and other infrastructures," he added.