Mah: Penyayang programme to be revived under Caring School 2.0

PETALING JAYA: The Caring School Programme (Program Sekolah Penyayang) will be revived under Caring School 2.0, says Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.

The Deputy Education Minister described the revival as “good news” for the 400 Chinese schools that used to take part in the programme, the board of governors concerned and parents and teachers before it was halted in 2018.

The programme was initially aimed at assisting pupils who were not academically-inclined to make their way into secondary school, in a bid to reduce the dropout rate at Chinese schools.

Dr Mah, who is also MCA deputy president, said he had met the programme committee on Jan 8 to discuss the operation model for the programme.

During the meeting, he called on schools that were interested to participate in the programme to contact the relevant state-owned Chinese schools or Chinese language inspectors as soon as possible.

“The deadline for registration is on Feb 1,” he said.

Dr Mah urged corporations to contribute to the programme.

He said UTAR president Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat and principal of Xingzhi Educational Group in Nanjing, China, had been reappointed as the programme’s advisers.

The programme, originally mooted by former deputy education minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim in 2005, also provided an avenue for teachers to improve themselves and broaden their knowledge.

“Since 2005, more than 400 Chinese schools have taken part in the programme. These schools have generally become more energetic, fully embodying the culture of love, and at the same time, students’ performance and conduct have made significant progress,” he added.

Dr Mah said the goal of the programme changed in 2013 to promote comprehensive education among Chinese school pupils, nurturing human capital to be versatile and of good character through outreach activities in and out of classrooms.

“In the following year, the programme included a ‘Flower Bud Education Award’ to recognise the efforts of school board members, PTA members and parents.

“In 2016, then deputy education minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon launched a revised version on the guidelines and a short introduction film for schools across the country, with the main aim of enhancing the programme,” he said.

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