Weed out corruption in schools, education ministry urged

Many schools that have requested allocations for repairs have reportedly been turned down due to insufficient funds. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) has urged the education ministry to look into corrupt practices in schools to ensure that funds are properly utilised.

PAGE chairman Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim told FMT that funds from the ministry must be used primarily on safety, sanitation and teaching.

She suggested the implementation of a better contract monitoring system, proper audits and for action to be taken on audit queries.

She also urged parents and members of the community to step in and play a role in raising funds for schools.

“There must be a concerted effort from various parties, including the parents and community. There are many ways for schools to raise funds but I believe there are restrictions and conditions on how it can be done,” she said.

Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.

Noor Azimah was responding to a research paper by the office of Subang MP Wong Chen, which found that 52 schools under the Subang parliamentary constituency alone required a total of RM19.3 million for infrastructure maintenance and repairs.

The paper also said that schools requesting aid for repairs either received no response or were turned down due to insufficient funds. Such schools were then forced to hold donation drives with the help of students and parent-teacher associations.

When asked if MPs from other constituencies should follow Wong’s footsteps, Noor Azimah said they could but cautioned that they should not expect funding to be readily available.

Meanwhile, managing director and co-founder of Teach for Malaysia, Dzameer Dzulkifli, said Malaysian schools were too centralised and needed to have additional local involvement.

Although he applauded Wong’s efforts, Dzameer encouraged other interested parties to move away from over-emphasising infrastructure and start exploring teaching and learning as well as a culture of instructional leadership.

“Learning is what makes the difference in the lives of children. Many times, educators are resistant towards externals, but we’ve seen successful school leaders embrace different opinions to further enhance teaching and learning in the classroom,” he said.