SIBU, Sept 20 — The Education Ministry’s proposal for Chinese vernacular schools to establish a Parents Teachers Association (PTA) has drawn a strong objection from the United Association of Primary Aided Schools Boards of Management, Sibu and Kapit Divisions.

“The School Board of Directors has always taken a firm stand against the establishment of the PTA which will bring more harm than good to promote the development of the Chinese vernacular schools. As such, we vehemently oppose any move to set up the PTA in the Chinese vernacular schools,” the association said in a statement.

More than 20 members of the association and its directors turned up for a meeting held at Wisma Du Zhong yesterday afternoon.

The meeting, chaired by its president Thomas Tang, was referring to the recent proposal by the Education Ministry that all Chinese vernacular schools set up the PTA by March 1, 2021.

The association, however, said these schools already have the Directors Board and the establishment of the PTA was not only redundant but would marginalize the purpose of the Directors Board.

“The structure of the Directors Board is more or less similar to the PTA and it is only the names that sound different. So what is the

point of coming up with another PTA which do the same work as the Directors Board,” the statement asked.

It added that the emergence of two organisations doing the same scope of work would only jeopardize the existing cordial relationship between the Directors Board and the PTA.

It was noted that the proposal to come up with the PTA was nothing new.

“PTA was implemented in the peninsula because the historical background of the Chinese vernacular schools here in Sarawak was very different compared to the schools over there,” the association pointed out.

It stressed that many of the schools here were established before the Second World War.

“In the beginning, the directors of the school board and the people contributed money and even land to build the school.

“For over 20 years, the Directors Board maintained close cooperation with the Education Ministry on

school management and cultivating talented students who contributed immensely towards the growth of the country.

“It is obvious therefore that the Directors Board should be allowed to continue to work with the Education Ministry and there is no need for the formation of the PTA.

“Therefore, maintaining the status quo is the best way,” the statement continued.

It noted that the Education Act had empowered the directors to manage the school.

‘Such being the case, the directors have every right and power to continue to defend their rights which they think have been threatened.”

If the Directors Board is replaced by PTA, who will protect Chinese education from its survival?” it added. — Borneo Post Online