PTA head apologises over segregated workshop

JOHOR BARU: The issue of a Muslim-only workshop for SPM students of an all-girl school here has come to an end, after the school’s principal and parent teacher association (PTA) chairman apologised to attendees of a special meeting.

SMK Infant Jesus Convent Johor Baru PTA chairman Nusution Putra Saad Putra said he did not hold any grudges against anyone despite being asked to step down during the meeting on Sunday.

“I told the PTA members that they could move a vote of no confidence if they wanted to remove me.

“I was elected in the school’s annual general meeting and I will go on to finish my term this year because I do not wish to leave things hanging,” he said in an interview.

He added that no one opted for the vote of no confidence at the meeting attended by 21 out of 23 PTA members of the school.

“Our auditor wanted to quit but I did not accept her resignation because all of us were voted in,” Nusution Putra said, adding that he was ready to face questioning from parents over the matter in the upcoming annual general meeting.

“Both the principal and I have apologised at the meeting. I hope we can move on from this,” he said, adding that the PTA also issued a media statement about the matter.

The school recently held a two-day, one-night SPM workshop for Muslim students at a nearby hotel, supposedly for the revision of religion-related subjects.

However, it turned out to be a comprehensive workshop covering most subjects, such as Chemistry, Additional Mathematics and others.

The issue over the segregated workshop sparked an outcry after it was highlighted online, with the Johor Sultan also issuing a statement to say that no one should be left out of any public programmes because of their race or religion.

Meanwhile, the media release by the PTA stated measures such as keeping all PTA committee members informed about all school programmes from the initial stage, with all due processes for approvals, organising and staging of such events to be forwarded to PTA members and the school’s parents’ WhatsApp chat group.

They said that this measure is for the sake of transparency, as well as promoting ethical practice.

“Lastly, in adherence to Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar’s call, the PTA will ensure that all future school events or programmes will be conducted fairly and equally for all students,” said the statement signed by seven PTA members.

Nusution Putra did not sign the statement and when asked why, said he did not want to dwell further on the matter.

“I just want to move on for the children’s sake as the practical exams for some SPM subjects have begun,” he added.

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