Tamil School Fun For Malay Kids
Tamil school fun for Malay kids
PAGOH: Like many students nationwide, seven-year-old Muhammad Khair Allie Mohd Tazili finds school fun and exciting.
After just one week, he has already learned how to greet people in Tamil, calling out “vanakam (greetings)”.
Muhammad Khair is among 14 students studying at SRJK (T) Ladang Ban Heng, the only Tamil school in the state with Malay students. The school, located 45km from Muar, is in Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s constituency.
Muhammad Khair is not alone — his elder sister Noor Hardiana Rasidin, 12, is studying at the same school along with two other Malay children.
His mother Rofiah Ali, 49, a plantation worker, said she had no regrets sending her two children to the school.
“Besides getting a lot of attention from their teachers, my children are also able to pick up another language,” she said, adding that her eldest daughter was able to read and write Tamil.
“We are a closely-knit family here and a school located within the plantation is very convenient,” she said, adding that her daughter would be sitting for the UPSR this year and would take up Tamil among her seven subjects.
Another parent, Mohd Tazili Mohd Shah, 32, whose son is in Year One, said it would be good for the boy to pick up a new language.
“Many parents send their children to Chinese schools. Why not to a Tamil school?” he said, adding that he was satisfied with the teachers at the school.
Mohd Tazili added that he intended to send all his three children to the school.
Headmistress P. Devi, 48, said the school, set up in 1947, had four Malay students in Years One, Three and Six. Their parents work at the plantation.
Devi, who has been a teacher for 20 years, said over the years the school had 10 or 11 students, but this year the number had risen.
“We have seven teachers at the school with three classrooms. We also use the library and resource centre because there is a shortage of classrooms,” she said, adding that the students get a lot of attention and guidance as the ratio was one teacher to two students.
Last year the school’s four UPSR candidates passed the examination.
Devi added that the parent-teacher association, along with the residents in the area, were supportive of the school and its activities.
“I hope that we will be able to expand the school by having three more classrooms.”
According to an education department official, more than 2,300 new students entered Year One in 70 Tamil schools statewide this year.
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