The Malay Mail,
Parents blame falling academic standards on bad management
Friday, March 11th, 2011 13:11:00
PROTEST: Parents in front of SJKT Vivekananda with posters demanding a change of the principal — Pic: Salhani Ibrahim
Some 500 parents of primary pupils at SJK (Tamil) Vivekananda in Jalan
Templer, Section 8, here staged a peaceful demonstration in front of the
school compound yesterday, calling on the Education Department to
remove the headmaster who has been there since 2004.
The gathering, organised by the school's ad hoc Parent Teacher
Association (PTA), started at 11am with parents carrying banners and
placards declaring their dissatisfaction with pupils' academic
performances which they claimed declined over the past seven years.
According to PTA records, the school achieved 70 per cent passes in
UPSR (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, for Standard Six pupils) in 2004
but this gradually dropped to 30 per cent last year.
The PTA said in 2004 and in the following years there were annual
intakes of 230 to 250 new pupils. This dwindled to 117 this year when
parents pulled back 41 pupils, claiming the school's poor administration
as the reason.
S. Sivaraja, 40, a parent, said his two children were lucky to be in the first two classes of their grade.
"This school only pays attention to the first two class of each grade while the last three to four classes are neglected."
"The school has a state-of-the-art library but only pupils from the
first two classes of each grade are allowed to use the library. Pupils
are also not allowed to pick books of their choice. Why should that be?"
Another parent, T. Muniandy, 49, claimed the headmaster wears 10
rings on his fingers. This did not project a good image to children.
"When parents approach the headmaster on pressing issues, he always
comes up with excuses, such as the pupils are poor in their studies
because they come from poor families and that parents did not help
children in studies and that pupils were incapable of excelling."
Anita Manidas, 42, claimed her child often returned from school with stomach aches.
"I believe this is due to the junk food and carbonated drinks sold in
the canteen. In fact, my child was hospitalised in January for food
poisoning after consuming canteen food," she said.
"The makeshift canteen was poorly constructed. When I raised this
matter with the headmaster, he said the government was not helping the
When The Malay Mail contacted the headmaster, he said he was not allowed to speak to the Press.
However, a department officer said they had yet to receive a formal report on the parents' demonstration.
Inaction despite complaints to higher authorities
PETALING JAYA: E. Kamalanathan, a representative of
the ad hoc Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of SJK (Tamil) Vivekananda
primary school, claims they raised grouses about the school's falling
standards and other problems, to various authorities since 2008.
"Over the past three years, we brought the matter to the attention of
the Petaling District Education Deparment, the Selangor Education
Department, the Education Ministry and even the Prime Minister's office
but until now, nothing had been done," he told a Press conference
yesterday after some 500 parents staged a peaceful demonstration in
front of the school.
"Rural schools in Sarawak achieve 100 per cent passes in UPSR and yet
SJK (Tamil) Vivekananda which is in the city had only 30 per cent
passes last year."
Kamalanathan claimed last year, the headmaster asked the PTA to pay
the school's ac*****ulated electricity bill which was about RM5,000.
"When questioned why the school could not pay, he did not give us a satisfactory answer.
"How long more must students and their parents endure such poor administration?"