Thursday January 24, 2013
Mission schools issue resolved
By YUEN MEIKENG and RUBEN SARIO
PETALING JAYA: A thorny issue has been resolved with the Education Ministry assuring mission schools of “maximum consultation” in appointing their principals.
A circular will be issued to all states by the end of the month on the procedure of consulting the school boards, according to Education Ministry director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.
The directive follows a meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Federation of Councils of Christian Mission Schools Malaysia on Monday.
Based on the 1971 Revised Report of the Royal Commission on the Teaching Services, West Malaysia, maximum consultation should be held with mission school boards in the assignment of headmasters.
However, mission school authorities said the stipulation had not been fully implemented.
In the meeting with Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, matters discussed included the role of mission schools in the National Education Blueprint.
Federation president Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching said Muhyiddin had assured that the 438 mission schools in Malaysia would continue to play a role in the nation's education system.
At the roundtable conference on Dec 4, she noted that there was no mention of the role of mission schools in the blueprint.
“Muhyiddin said mission schools will not be sidelined and will enjoy the same privileges as national schools.
“Mission schools implement the national curriculum and, hence, are accorded the same status,” Yap said.
She said Muhyiddin also assured that mission schools would continue to receive funding for building maintenance and professional development programmes.
When tabling Budget 2013, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced an allocation of RM100mil to upgrade mission schools.
Yap said: “We are very grateful to Muhyiddin and (Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister) Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, who coordinated the meeting.
“It speaks volumes of their leadership that they were willing to listen to us.”
In 2011, a dispute arose over the appointment of the principal of SMK Convent Bukit Nanas in Kuala Lumpur.
The dispute was resolved after a Catholic principal, Mystrical Rose Fernandes, was appointed.
SK St Paul parent-teacher association chairman Dr S. Ganakumaran said he hoped the circular would bring “a good outcome” for the school in Seremban, which has been without a headmaster for the past eight months.
“The circular is to remind all parties of the good practice in appointing heads of mission schools,” he said.
“At St Paul, we have always had open communication among the school, its alumni, the (Negri Sembilan) state education department and the ministry.”