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Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 9:52:02 AM
Day one: Jia Yun is the only Year One pupil of SJKC Sin Hwa in Merbok.
ALOR SETAR: Several schools in Kedah recorded low enrolment for their Year One classes.
For SJKC Yuk Min, Malay students gave a boost to the Year One enrolment of the school, which registered 10 new students this year compared to only one last year.
Eight of the 10 students are Malays, while the other two are Chinese, said headmaster Chan Ah Boon.
Last year, only one Chinese girl entered the school, which is located in Sungai Limau Dalam in Yan, about 35km from here.
“The parents of a few Malay pupils I spoke to told me they had enrolled their children in the school because they wanted them to learn Chinese,” Chan said yesterday.
He said the number of Year One pupils in the rural school had dropped in previous years because many Chinese residents had shifted to other states or to bigger towns such as Alor Setar and Sungai Petani.
“The younger generation had migrated, leaving the older generation, who work as padi farmers, behind,” he said.
Chan said the school’s total enrolment this year for Year One to Year Six was 42 pupils compared to 41 last year.
Another rural school which registered low enrolment was SJKC Aik Min in Simpang Tiga, about 30km from here.
It only received five Year One pupils this year, comprising four Chinese and a Thai national. It had two students last year.
The school will skip the UPSR examination this year as none of its 16 students are in Year Six, said headmaster Wong Swee Wah.
“The small number of Year One pupils enrolling in the school is a normal thing annually, as many parents from here are working outside Kedah and have taken their children along with them.
“Only a few parents leave their children behind to be cared for by their grandparents,” he said.
SJKC Sin Hwa in Merbok registered its only Year One pupil, Lim Jia Yun, for this year.
State education director Mansor Lat said 33,467 pupils enrolled in Year One in schools in Kedah this year compared to 31,245 last year.
Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan said the ministry would be updating the online registration system (PPD Online System) which had reportedly faced technical problems.
He said the ministry had received complaints from parents and teachers about the system, which is for applications for enrolment into SMK Agama, Sekolah Agama Bantuan Kerajaan and Aliran Agama full boarding schools.
Kamalanathan visited three schools here yesterday in conjunction with the new school year.
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