Wednesday January 2, 2013
Cinvy is the only Year One pupil in her school
By G.C. TAN
ALOR SETAR: Excited to start schooling for the first time, little Loh Cinvy was surprised that she was the only one who turned up for the Year One class at the SJK (C) Yuk Min in Yan, about 30km from here.
Except for a teacher, the seven-year-old girl, who has a younger brother, sat mostly alone in her classroom until the bell rang for her to go home at 1.10pm yesterday.
The school, with just 44 pupils, had been seeing a declining number of children enrolling into Year One.
Principal Chen Chiak Tong said there were 12 pupils in Year One in 2011, but the number dwindled to just five last year.
With 28,900 children entering primary school for the first time in Kedah as the state does not recognise Jan 1 as a public holiday it was an unusual situation for Cinvy to be the only one without any classmates.
After doing some colouring and learning to write her name in Chinese and Malay, Cinvy was then accompanied by a teacher arranged by Chen to a reading room where some stories were read to her.
Cinvy, whose father runs a sundry shop opposite her school, was accompanied by her Thai-born mother, a housewife, to her class at about 7.40am.
She was shy when interviewed and hesi-tant about saying how it felt to be alone in the class.
After some thought, she retorted: “I am happy and not afraid.”
Elsewhere, the SJK (C) Aik Min in Simpang Tiga registered two Year One pupils Ng Zun Yan and Jessie Yu Min Xuan and SJK (C) Pei Hwa, five pupils.
Four of the SJK (C) Pei Hwa pupils were Malay Puteri Fasya Edreyana, Nur Shafila Johari, Muhammad Anuar Ikromi and Muhammad Azim Hafshan while the sole Chinese pupil was Yew Zhe Hao.
State education department director Mansor Lat said the 28,900 Year One pupils registered in Kedah would be placed in 1,171 classes.