KOTA KINABALU: A move by a school to segregate Form One students according to their religion is causing an uproar among parents.The matter which came to light over social media including Facebook saw Malaysians calling the move ‘un-Sabah like’, because Sabahans are known for their mutual respect toward all races and religions. However, the school had placed Muslim and non-Muslim students in separate classes.
Previously, schools only required students to shift to other classes during Moral or religious studies.
The school explained the move was to make it more convenient for Muslim students to attend their religious studies class and for non-Muslims to attend their Moral studies without having to change classes all the time.
“We were just trying to save time and space for the classes involved,” claimed school authorities.
Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching has described the move as unnecessary no matter what the justification.
“We are a country that prides itself on national unity and to separate students according to their religion is not right and is only done by people who do not see the bigger picture – which is to promote unity at all times,” she said in a statement.
Teo said she has asked the Sabah Education Department to rectify the matter immediately.
Likas assemblyman Tan Lee Fatt said state Education and other relevant authorities will be at the school today to look into the matter.
“Please do not make negative comments on this matter until we have gotten to the bottom of it,” he added.
Over 12,000 people have signed an online petition to get the Education Ministry to stop the segregation at the school.