BALIK PULAU: Some RM2.5bil from the Education Ministry's annual expenditure of RM11bil on schools goes to national-type Chinese and Tamil schools, Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad said.
He said some 1,800 Chinese and Tamil schools nationwide enjoyed the benefit, adding that about 5,500 national schools get the remaining RM8.5bil.
This is an equal proportion between the national schools and national-type schools.
So, it is untrue that the Government is not being fair to Chinese schools in the country as claimed by the Opposition, he said after meeting the Balik Pulau parliamentary constituency's Chinese Schools' Management Board members at SJK(C) Yeok Hua here yesterday.
Musa also presented a total allocation of RM400,000 to six schools in Penang to buy new equipment and to conduct building repair work.
The schools were SJK(C) Yeok Hua (RM100,000), SM St George Balik Pulau (RM100,000), SM Convent Datuk Keramat (RM50,000), SK Convent Datuk Keramat (RM50,000), SJK(C) Yu Chye (RM50,000) and SJK(C) Sacred Heart Balik Pulau (RM50,000).
Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Hilmi Yahaya, Balik Pulau MP Datuk Zain Omar and Bayan Lepas assemblyman Lim Chien Aun.
Later, at SMK Seri Balik Pulau, Musa said the ministry would embark on a pilot project, called Projek j-QAF, to conduct fardu ain evening classes for Muslim pupils at national primary schools.
He said the move was in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's aspiration to produce primary school pupils who could read the Al-Quran, understand Arabic language and have good knowledge of the fardu ain.
The pilot project begins in April and if successful, we will extend it to all national schools by next year, he said.In Kuala Lumpur, Deputy Information Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said the 1,286 Chinese primary schools nationwide were protected under the Federal Constitution.
The Constitution ensures that the rights of Malaysians are protected, whether in terms of religion, culture or education, he said.
Lim was speaking at Kampung Baru Sungai Buloh where he opened the third branch of Khee Way Restaurant yesterday.