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Ministry receives report, action to be taken: Teo
Published on: Monday, March 18, 2019
By: Ricardo Unto

KOTA KINABALU: The Education Ministry has received a report on the alleged religion-based segregation of students in a secondary school here.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching (pic) said the Sabah Education Department will take the necessary remedial action. 

“The department has informed me that officials from the School Management Sector and the Inspector of Schools and Quality Assurance Committee will visit the school to help correct the situation,” she said, in a statement, Sunday.

On Sunday, it was reported that a religion-based segregation of Form One students was allegedly imposed by the principal of SM All Saints, Likas, since January, this year.

The issue came to public attention when an online petition to protest against the move went viral.

According to a statement on the online petition, the protest was initiated by a group of parents of Form One students in the school.

The statement stated that under the segregation, there are four classes for non-Muslims – Tulip, Jasmine, Cherry and Petunia, while two classes for Muslims – Lavender and Violet. 

Students will be in these classes from 6am-1pm and it will persist until Form Three.

The statement said the principal had outlined three factors for the move.

The first reason was safety – to ensure teachers and students are in the respective classes, and the second reason was the difficulty to find a vacant classroom for Islamic studies.

And the third reason was of students not attending Islamic studies as they do not know where it was being conducted.

However, students in Form Two until Five are currently studying in a non-segregation situation.

The statement further stated that since January this year, various efforts had been made by parents of students involved to protest against the move.

Unfortunately, these efforts were rejected by the principal where she said it was her responsibility to make the final decision.

Teo said the decision taken by the principal is improper, especially in the inculcation of mutual respect among the multiracial societies in the country.

“Such segregation can only be implemented by shallow-minded school administrators,” she said, adding that the bigger agenda of unity should not be disregarded.



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