BY PETRONELLA FELIX
KUCHING: The management committee of SJK Chung Hua No. 1 recently paid a courtesy visit to Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.
The purpose of the visit, led by the school committee chairman Jonathan Chai Voon Tok, was to invite Fatimah to officiate at the school’s Integrated Special Education Programme (PPKI) opening ceremony.
During the visit, Chai briefed Fatimah on the set-up for PPKI class which started its session on Aug 2 this year with four students enrolled under the class with prescribed guidelines for a maximum number of seven students.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) has assigned a trained teacher in special education alongside an assistant to teach the students; adding that the school has already reached the quota of maximum seven students enrolled in the class for next year.
“Due to increasing demand for PPKI classes in the community, the school intends to apply to the MOE to open additional classes to give more special needs students the opportunity to study in a normal school environment,” Chai said.
Presently, SJK Chung Hua No. 1 is the first aided Chinese primary school to offer classes for children with special needs in Kuching.
“The committee has spent over RM50,000 to set up the special education class to facilitate classroom renovation, building its kitchen and bathrooms, purchasing a computer and projector, as well as relocation of the existing kindergarten classroom,” Chai said.
He said that another RM40,000 was required to construct a new toilet block for the PPKI students and sought funding from the minister to provide necessary facilities and equipment for the special education class.
“We hope that the Sarawak government will provide funds for the meaningful project as it will ease the financial burden of the school committee,” said Chai.
At the same time, Fatimah applauded SJK Chung Hua No. 1 and its management community for the initiative to set up a special education class which is very much needed in the community.
She also expressed her gratitude to the committee for inviting her to visit the school and officiate at the PPKI programme there.
Also present for the courtesy visit was the committee’s vice chairman Johnny Liong Pek Chau, secretary general Rodger Chan Siong Boh, SJK Chung Hua No. 1 headmaster Lee Mui Huat, school’s academic supervisor Lee Ho Liong and vice treasurer Lo Siew Fung.