'Workbooks now big money in SJKC schools' (video)

Written by: MT Reader | 15 Jul 2017 00:21
Parents are lamenting that some SJKC schools are burdening their kids with unnecessary workbooks.
Written by:
15 Jul 2017 00:21

EIGHT Chinese workbooks, four Bahasa Malaysia workbooks, three English workbooks, two workbooks each for Mathematics, Science and Computer, and another book on Safety. 

To a Standard Three pupil at SJK (C) Puay Chai 2 at Bandar Utama, a total of 22 workbooks for the first half of the year is far too excessive, but this is the typical scenario in Chinese primary schools.

A retired editor friend of mine claimed one of his schoolmates used to sell workbooks to schools.

He alleged that many headmasters or senior assistants will ask for or offered kickbacks for workbooks itemised in school booklist 

He claimed that this is a lucrative recurring business for book producers and school principals alike and that they live off each other and prosper together with illicit gains.

My friend further added that this issue has been highlighted many times in the past but enforcement is poor.

Single mothers with several children are the worst affected as these books can cost up to RM100.
I calculated how much the school would have collected just before the end of the first term this year.

With 2,400 children, it would have been a total of RM240,000 from just one school. 

In fact, the Ministry of Education has issued a circular saying that Primary 3-6 can only have one workbook on top of the school textbooks, but it is the enforcement that is found wanting. 

It is time that Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) start looking into such issues in the Chinese primary schools, especially on why both the state and district education offices fail to tighten the rules and if found that headmasters are flouting the rules, they should be transferred out immediately. 

As a result of the lackadaisical attitude of ministry officials and the wrongdoings of headmasters, children and teachers have to bear the consequences -- the children, with their heavy bags and the teachers having to rush through the workbooks, which are often not marked or completed.

Stephen Ng


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