Friday, March 12, 2010

Schools call Indian NGOs' bluff on English language workshops

Several Tamil schools in Selangor yesterday called three Indian NGOs' bluff for claiming they had conducted “at least one English language programme” in each of the 97 schools in the state.

The NGOs -- the Education, Welfare and Research Foundation Malaysia (EWRF), Child Information, Learning and Development Centre (CHILD) and the Tamil Foundation -- received RM1.6 million in state allocations last year for the purpose of conducting English language workshops.

But several schools in Subang, Kuala Selangor, Ijok and Dengkil told FMT that although EWRF, CHILD and the Tamil Foundation had approached them, no projects were conducted in their schools.

Sekolah Wawasan Tun Sambanthan Parent-Teacher Association chairman S Murali acknowledged that the NGOs had approached the schools about the 21-day programme.

“But they wanted us to share the cost. They told us the full cost was RM700 per student and that the state government subsidised RM500. The balance, they said, had to be borne by the parents," said Murali.

"We said 'No'. You cannot assume we are ignorant. We understand there is a cost involved. But we also know that they have collected money from other sources for the same programme.

"It’s not fair to ask us to pay RM200 each,” he said, adding that Guinness Anchor Berhad Foundation had also donated RM240,000 towards improving English in Tamil schools.

Police report lodged

The school's denial contradicted a joint press statement by the three NGOs earlier this year that they had conducted “at least one programme” in each of the 97 schools in the state.

Spokesman for the NGOs, K Arumugam had said that the state funding was insufficient to cover the cost of RM700 per student, so they had asked parents to top up.

The NGOs called for the press conference after a police report was made against Selangor executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar in relation to funds channelled to the NGOs.

As a result of the police report, Xavier, whose portfolio includes overseeing Indian affair in the state administration, was hauled in by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for questioning.

courtesy of FreeMalaysiaToday

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