I do think however, that the recent developments are absolutely shocking and certainly runs in the face of the objective of making our national schools the school of choice for all Malaysians as per the much-hyped National Education Blueprint.
This school, and trust Lulu, it's not the only one, "disqualified" kids who were wearing shorts from winning with flimsy excuses such as failing to get the ribbons at the designated spots and that the numbers pinned on the shirts were torn.
This school pula, insisted that the children shave off their moustaches and beards and used harsh words when they tried to explain. The reason behind their un-shavenness was that they had taken a Thaipusam vow, and at least one of their parents had written in to the school informing them of their vow and the date when they would shave it off.
And we have here a case of kids who do not attend religious class [and you know la, in schools, which religion is allowed to hold "religious class"] who were asked to wash the toilet. Nothing bad/evil in washing school toilets, Lulu has had a fair share, but making it non-muhibbah? that's not right...
KJ John, who has a regular column in Malaysiakini also had problems with the zealots in his son's school.
"The second case was when a new Ustaz in my son’s primary school insisted that all Primary 6 prefects wear long pants; not one teacher stood up to ask why or challenged this arbitrary decision. Therefore, when I went in to write a complaint, the non-Malay deputy principal was truly appreciative of my “public protest” as he could use “my parent complaint” to raise and address this issue with the principal regarding the “new policy” which was not discussed by the teachers, but merely implemented by the new Ustaz.If you are a parent, Lulu hopes that you are sensitive and aware of what's happening in your children's school. Also, some children may choose to abide and suffer in silence. Take an active role in your children's school. Also, remember that right for your school Christian, Buddhist and Hindu activities are given in the Federal Constitution. Challenge your school principal if he does not allow it. When/If you are not sure if they are right or wrong, use your schooldays as the benchmark.
The third instance was when I was on a PIBG committee at my son’s school when we heard that the principal had issued a verbal directive to all non-Muslim clubs and societies to “refrain from undertaking their religious activities within the school compound.”
At the next PIBG committee meeting, I enquired of the principal where and why there was such a policy. She replied that it was a directive from the PPD or the Pegawai Pendidikan Daerah. I asked for a copy of the written directive, as I knew the implications of such a directive. The principal confirmed that it was an unwritten one. I advised her against following such “non-policies” and requested for her to rescind the policy before the annual PIGB meeting.
She did not and the matter was raised at the next PIBG meeting and was resolved when another senior ex-government servant and a Malay parent argued that it was against the Federal Constitution."
Join the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA/PIBG). You cannot afford to let zealots narrow your children's mind and perspective of life.