by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary- General and MP for Petaling, Lim Kit Siang, in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, Sept. 28:
DAP calls on Minister of Education, Dr. Sulaiman Daud, to countermand the Selangor Education Department circular sending primary school pupils into the streets to collect donations for a sports carnival.
The Selangor Education Department has explained that the thousands of primary school children in the state are asked to take to the streets in the next five months to raise funds for a sports carnival next year for teachers and other staff in the education department. The target is $90,000.
This is the latest and most unacceptable and inexcusable form of passing the buck when education department officials are making primary school pupils to do their work of raising funds for their sports carnival. This is a gross abuse of their relationship with the students as they are virtually holding the primary school children to ransom by compelling them to the streets to collect donations so that education department officials and teachers can have a sports carnival.
If the only way the sports carnival of the Ministry of Education can be held is to take to the streets for house-to-house donations, then, this must be done by the education department officials and teachers themselves and not by the primary school pupils themselves.
I am sure there are other better ways of raising funds without exposing primary school children to public hazards or pyschological stress. For those from the poor families, this is a most unfair and uneducational burden.
Such an unhealthy and undesirable precedent where school pupils become the captive instrument of the education department to raise funds for departmental activities must not be allowed.
I call on the Minister of Education, Dr. Sulaiman Daud, to immediately intervene in the matter and countermand the circular of the Selangor Education Department to the Selangor schools requiring their students to publicly canvass for donations.
I also call the parents of primary school students in Selangor to take a firm stand against such an unhealthy and uneducational practice by demanding for emergency meetings of the respective Parents-Teachers Association to discuss the Selangor Education Department circular.
Where the Parents-Teachers Association resolve that pupils in their schools should not take to the streets to collect donation for the walkathon to raise funds for the Ministry of Education sports carnival, then the pupils would have a good reason to decline talking part in such public collection. Otherwise, despite official clarification that the collection of donation for the walkathon by students are not compulsory, the students would be under a sense of compulsion to collect donations if they are not to be black-marked by their teachers or schools.