Group to preserve St Thomas schools

Good start: SK St Thomas Year One pupils posing with the pocket money they received from the alumni.

Good start: SK St Thomas Year One pupils posing with the pocket money they received from the alumni.

KUANTAN: A task group has been set up to fight for the preservation of the St Thomas primary and secondary schools.

St Thomas alumni chairman Abdul Rahman Abdul Razak said they met the district education office, the schools’ parent-teacher associations and representatives of Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh and it was agreed that a task group be established to determine the fate of the schools.

“We have decided to meet with Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik first to discuss the future of our alma mater.

“We hope the Pakatan Harapan government will be more receptive to our suggestions,” Abdul Rahman said after welcoming new pupils of SK St Thomas here yesterday.

He said the foremost wish of the alumni was for the primary school to be moved back to its original premises in Jalan Gambut.

“The old building is currently empty and if possible, the primary school can be moved back within one or two years.

“However, this is subject to discussions with the landowner.

“We wish the secondary school can also be shifted back. But if our plan is rejected, we hope the name of St Thomas can be retained,” Abdul Rahman said.

The St Thomas primary and secondary schools are now sharing facilities with SK Teruntum and SMK Sultan Abu Bakar after having to vacate their previous premises in 2014.

This was after the land, on which both schools were located, was returned to the St Thomas Church following a legal tussle between the government and the church in 2012.

The Star reported last year that a RM56mil allocation had been set aside for the construction of a new complex in Kemunting here to house the schools but the name would be changed to Sekolah Mahkota Abdullah once they were relocated.

Abdul Rahman said another compromise would be to name the new complex as planned but retain the St Thomas identity within the said complex.

“It is not because we are worshiping the St Thomas name but our tradition will vanish if we don’t do something about it.

“The St Thomas name has always been associated with excellence and our schools have produced many successful figures of society,” he added.

For now, Abdul Rahman said the task group would be counting on Fuziah to arrange a meeting with Dr Maszlee soon.

St Thomas , school