More bumiputeras enrolled in Chinese schools

Federation of Chinese Association of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Division president Datuk Richard Wee. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: There is an increasing trend of bumiputera parents sending their children to Chinese schools, said Datuk Richard Wee.

The chairman of the Board of Management Committee for Kuching Chung Hua Middle School (CHMS) No.1, 3 and 4 said from the more than 60,000 students enrolled in the 222 aided Chinese primary schools, bumiputeras make up more than 30 percent of them.

“There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that they want to learn Mandarin after seeing that China is becoming dominant economically,” he told New Sarawak Tribune in an exclusive interview today (Feb 10).

Wee said, however, the influx of bumiputeras into Chinese schools also implies that the parents are growing reluctant to send their children to national schools.

“Rural national schools are badly run and the situation is so bad that many are dilapidated. The parents don’t want to send their children there.

“Chinese schools have their management boards tasked to ensure that the facilities are available; repairs are done, and funds are raised from the community whenever there is a need to purchase equipment,” he said.

He said for national schools, the same duties are shouldered solely by the headmasters and the process for applying for repairs and equipment is hampered by bureaucratic red tapes.

“This is why it is difficult to the extent that the headmasters would often give up. To me this is unfortunate,” he said.

Wee then cautioned that the growing acceptance of Chinese schools among parents might lead to complacency among the people in key positions of power and influence.

“I said to the schools, while I am happy for them, if anything, they are doing well because the national schools are doing worse.

“I said to them, if the national schools are managed well, you will have a lot of competition,” he said.