Where classrooms resemble prison cells


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 04 Sep 2003

BY ELAN PERUMAL

KLANG: Sections of a secondary school in Kapar here have taken on the air of “prison cells” with metal grilles installed on the doors and windows of some classrooms. 

Metal grilles have replaced the wooden doors in these classrooms in SM Tengku Idris Shah and apart from the one at the front door of each room, the grilles are kept padlocked at all times, even during classes.  

Sementa assemblyman Datuk Abdul Rahman Palil, who made a surprise visit to the school yesterday after being alerted to the situation by The Star was shocked by what he saw there. 

A senior staff at the school told him that the grilles had been installed for security reasons and they were not meant to “cage” the students. 

The grilles are kept padlocked all the time.

However, the official could not reply when Abdul Rahman asked why only one of the grilles in each of these classrooms were kept open during lessons. 

“This is like studying under imprisonment. I cannot accept this concept for whatever reason. 

“We cannot put children in this situation,” he said after visiting the school.  

The school, which is over 30 years old, has two sessions and 2,700 students. 

According to the senior staff, the former principal had been transferred and the post had been left vacant for the past three months. 

Parent-Teacher Association vice-chairman Mohd Halil Dahari, who was also present, said the school management put up the grilles about five years ago because it was unable to control some students. 

He said these students caused a lot of problems in the school and never concentrated on their studies. 

“They fought with each other and threw chairs and tables out of the classrooms. They also walked in and out of the classrooms as they pleased. So the school had no alternative but to install the grilles,” he said, adding that the PTA felt the authorities should intervene to help the students. 

Abdul Rahman was also shocked to find graffiti on well-known gangs such as 24, 21, 18 and 04 as well as unknown ones such as the MMC Club in the “caged classrooms” and other parts of the school. 

This, he said, indicated that the students had links with various secret societies.  

“I believe this is a problem school which needs the immediate attention of the Education Department and the ministry,” he said. 

The officer in charge of secondary schools at the Klang education office Shamsuddin Katan said he was not in a position to make any comments.  

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