THE SABAH Education Department is puzzled by claims from parents that some schools were not allowing their children to attend classes because they have not fully settled their school fees.
I dont think principals will bar students from attending school just because fees are not paid. It's difficult to believe that such a thing can happen, said state Education director Datuk Kamal Quadra.
Several parents in two schools SMK Batu Sapi in east coast Sandakan and SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin in Penampang near Kota Kinabalu are upset that the school authorities wanted them to settle the fees first.
Kamal said that he had asked the schools concerned to give him a full report on the matter and gave an assurance that he would look into the matter.
I believe there is some miscommunication between the students and their parents over the matter. I will look into it, he said.
In the case of Batu Sapi school, he said the principal had told him he was unaware of any students who had been barred from attending classes because their fees had been paid in full.
One parent, Matahar Abdullah, 50, in urging the Education Department to look into the matter, said that he was just a fisherman and could not afford to pay the fees of his five children at the same time.
They have refused to listen to my pleas and insisted that I pay the full amount or my children would not be allowed to attend classes, said Matahar.
At SMK Datuk Peter Mojuntin, some parents claimed that the school refused to enrol their children because they could not pay the fees.
However, the schools principal, Marie Yong Pik Hua, denied the allegation.
She said one student was expelled for indiscipline, an issue that had nothing to do with fees.
Yong stressed that at least 20 students, who have yet to settle their fees and were living in the school hostel, were allowed to continue their studies.