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Converting aided schools into gov't ones not a good idea, Maszlee told

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The proposal to convert government-aided schools to government schools in an attempt to ease their operational costs burden is easier said than done, as there are several concerns to be taken into account beforehand.

In saying this, Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy added that further studies are needed before the proposal is implemented.

"If an aided school is to be surrendered to the Education Ministry to be converted into a government school, the process would also encompass the land which the said school is built on.

"In the case of Tamil schools, many are 'squatting' on private land, for instance. So then, how would the land transfer process work?

"Also, converting aided schools into government ones are not a good idea, as it also affects the autonomy of the schools involved," he told Malaysiakini.

Ramasamy said such a move is better off extended to schools in real dire straits, such as those in rural areas, instead of those already receiving government help.

"I also wonder if Maszlee's suggestion applies to Chinese schools as well.

"As we know, the Chinese community closely guards their culture and language," he added.

Such conversion may also carry the risk of endangering a community's culture, said the Prai assemblyperson.

"For instance, if a Tamil school is converted into a government school, could the converted institution still have an Indian as a headmaster?" he asked.

Maszlee had told the Dewan Rakyat sitting yesterday that such conversion would allow the government to fully bear the management of infrastructure development of government-aided schools with cash flow issues.

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