Rep: Unfair for parents to pay for not attending work party

(From fifth right) Dr Ting and Haslinda with others gather for a group photo at the just-completed carpark at SMK Dato Permaisuri in Miri.

MIRI: Compulsory donation from parents who do not participate in school’s ‘gotong-royong’ (work party) should not be made a practice, advised Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Choon.

In acknowledging the fact that schools would always be in need for funding, he said it would not be fair for parents who had to pay in view of their absence from the ‘gotong-royong’.

“I know this is a sensitive issue and that schools need funding, but this would be unfair to some parents because they might not be able to attend the ‘gotong-royong’ due to some other important matters or commitments, and it might be a burden for the parents to make compulsory donations due to their absence.

“What the school should do instead is to reward the students whose parents attended the ‘gotong-royong’ – probably giving the students some merit points, rather than ‘penalising’ the parents or the students. We need to get rid of this mentality where parents are being asked to pay if they are not coming (for the work party),” he said when met after the ‘handover’ of a just-completed carpark area to SMK Dato Permaisuri here yesterday.

The works to turn the area, which used to be a bicycle shed, into a covered parking space cost RM14,500.

Construction commenced two weeks ago, but it reached completion within a week.

“Seeing the situation at the school with limited parking spaces, we suggested that the bicycle shed be upgraded into a carpark, so now there are 11 extra parking spaces available.

“The funding for this project came from the federal government through the school’s parent-teacher association (PTA); the PTA has been really good in utilising the limited resources that we have and if we could use it properly, we could put it into a much more effective use,” said Dr Ting.

Meanwhile, SMK Dato Permaisuri principal Haslinda Jedi, in thanking Dr Ting for his support, also hoped that such cooperation would continue.

“Dr Ting has helped the school in other matters too and I hope such support would continue on as there are still other facilities here that need to be upgraded,” she said.

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