Saturday, 5 January 2008

No School Fees?

Pak Lah nearly scored a bullseye when in the last budget he announced that there will be "No School Fees." Almost all mainstream media were playing and rewinding the same song daily. If elections were to be held within a month, he would have scored a handsome victory just singing that particular tune alone.

Remember the last election and Pak Lah's promises on 'clean and efficient government'? Where is the clean government now? Where is the people friendly government now? And like the way he reneged on those promises, he has done it again this time around with his promise of "No School Fees".

When school repened recently, parents were confused when told that they will have to pay a 'yuran tambahan' instead. This yuran tambahan is actually more than the amount they paid the year before.

Lets get a clearer picture of the situation. In the previous years, school fees was RM4.50. In addition there were MSSM fees and Takaful insurance which were fixed amounts. Then schools were allowed to collect extra fees for sports, printing and library. It is these extra charges that make quite a lot of difference. Schools vary in the amounts they collect for sports, printing and library. Some collect less and the total amount is low while others collect more which pushed the total amount to quite high. In addition schools also collect fees for magazines. This again vary from place to place and according to quality.

What happens now is that the government has decided to do away with school fees that is no more RM4.50 per head. Realising that this will kill the schools, they come out with a mechanism where they calculate school needs. They mysteriously come to 3 figures based on needs of schools and parents affordability. They decide to categorise into 3. Category A RM30+, category B RM40+ and category C RM40+.

Schools will decide which category they want to be in base on the amount they need to operate and also considering the affordability factor.

In previous years, yes its true, that there were schools charging up to RM100 based on their needs but there were many schools sensitive enough to charge only about RM20+ to RM30+ based on the affordability of the parents.

What happens now? Schools that used to charge up to RM100 could only, at best, pick category C which is RM50+ while schools that used to charge RM20+ to RM30+ would most probably pick category A RM30+.

In previous years my school collected RM24.50 school fees and RM10.00 magazine fees for a total of RM34.50. This year we decide to go under category A RM30+ but students don't get any magazines for this. Do you see that by going under category A we are charging more? Do you also see that somehow the RM4.50 which was supposed to taken off is cunningly factored in? No school fees?

Why this stupidity? I call it damn downright stupid because now parents have to pay more when they were promised that they don't have to pay any. Lets take those big schools that used to charge RM70 to RM100, they would most probably be opting for the category C bracket which is lower than the amount they use to charge. The question is how many schools charged more than category C in the previous years. Where are these schools situated. What is the income group of the parents of students in these schools?

The answers are simple. Not many schools charged that high, they are mostly city schools and most of the parents are filthy rich. What about schools charging about RM20+ to RM30+? They now have to charge a minimum of category A which is more than or at least equivalent to what they used to charge. The question is how many schools charged these amounts, where are they situated and what income group do the parents come from?

The answers are are again simple. Many schools charged this amount, they are mostly suburban and kampung schools and their parents come from the lower income bracket. So who are the government actually helping here. Are they helping the rich parents who incidentally have very few children, or are they helping the poor parents, who for reasons only known to them have many children.

So the main question again 'Why this stupidity'?

Could it be that, those idiots who furnish the government with information about fees are those idiots who conduct surveys in their vicinity which is Putrajaya and KL and Shah Alam? They did not bother to really check with what is going on in other parts of the country? I believe that is the case. This means that the people in government has been severed with reality. They don't know the hardship that the poor are facing. They don't realise that pittance to them could be riches to the poor.

We may not hear too many complaints here because the MSM would be working overtime to filter dissenting voices especially with elections looming. Bloggers you say? Most bloggers could afford even category A or are already paying more than that so they don't really have much to complain do they? Maybe they are not aware being city dwellers and all.

Or could all these be another ploy by the government in generating dissent and then suddenly the PM comes to rescue and say all will have to pay only RM10 and that the extra amount paid would be refunded. I won't be surprised if this happened because flip-flopping seems to be the order of the day.

If there is no reversal, the situation is that the rich actually gets a discount in fees and the poor either pay more or pay the same amount. If they were to pay more or the same amount then where is the promise of No School Fees?

24 comments:

tokasid said...

Salam che'gu;

When PL announced "No school fees' for 2008, I laughed out loud. Not because he said that but bcoz I know many believed him.And the press was like telling us PL had his heart for the ppl.

Now, I geleng kepala bcoz ppl are grumbling about the 'hidden fees' .

My son's fees: PIBG-RM50/= , Asrama RM 320/= and SUWA(whatever that is)RM235/=. Total RM605/=.

Plus the text books that we had to buy,thats another RM 150/=.

Talk about No fees and buku bantuan for all.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Tokasid,
This must be highlighted. We must get people to air their grievances in the open. We must provide them with the avenue. Ini bukan untuk menjatuhkan kerajaan atau apa, ini adalah untuk menuntuk keadilan. Ini adalah untuk bagi tau kat depa diataih yang orang tak puas hati. Awat bohong sampai macam ni?

ali allah ditta said...

cikgu,

...and on top of that,there are schools that required all new students provide 12 pieces of IC-size photos. 12 pieces mean parents got to fork RM30.00(4 for RM10.00).

Tell me why the school need so many photographs? Me think Pat Lah & Kerismuddin pun will never know the answer.

time to change...

cheers.

hantutelur said...

I have 3 children in primary school.

SENARAI YURAN DAN KEPERLUAN SEKOLAH
Bayaran Kementerian - RM23.50
Kutipan Sekolah - RM10.00
PE gears - RM26.00
Additional textbook - RM36.00
PTA fees - RM20.00

That's for primary school in remote kampung.

Pocket money somemore. Later on there will be tuition fees, class fund, donations and other contributions.

Well, they say parents who don't wish to pay won't have to pay. No... the teachers will harass our children. They do it quietly behind us, asking our children to part with their pocket money instead of handing circulars to parents.

And they allow outside traders to sell class-readers (reject shop quality) and stupid non educational items like magic-for-suckers books, and origami books and whatnots.

I have 2 more children in secondary school. One more in college.

When I was small, the country was poor, education was free and my pocket money was only dua kupang.

Today, free education in Malaysia is a myth.

monsterball said...

hantutelur....What a pleasant surprise!! Have 5 young kids?
Well......no matter what...we parents find it a joy to struggle and sacrifice for their futures. I have done my part for four...leaving one more..and my real headache for her starts two years from now.
Government subsidies??...just forget all those insincere bullshits.
one Dept. say free...and another will do the opposite.
And UMNO knows education is most important to voters...yet they still have no clear rules.for free education. You know why...it is a multi billion subsidy....rightfully should be free from day one of Mederka...but they cannot do it. How to cover up all the mismanagements..employing 10 times more staffs than usual....choose croonies to enrich....and help themselves ...........like devils....1000 times more than they help others and indirectly saying...go tom hell with the country.Anything wrong...they all have properties in London and Australia..two favorites of these devils.
My Form 4 daughter have taken RM300 for her books..may not be enough...as last year Form 3 cost me more than RM500 to start her off.
hi hantutelur....take care of yourself! I am also at kickdefella blog. See you there too.

monsterball said...

And most important of all..my child was bad at maths.
She needed tution badly..and that cost me a bundle each year.
The end result...she had "A" for maths...plus few more. Money well spent.
So you can imagine the quality of some teachers in schools.
The problem is and still on going....good ones are not recognized...if they are not Malays..to be promoted,
Schools do have sickening race politics..all encouraged by UMNO.
That's why they do have faithful Malay voters...mostly selfish.... one track narrow minded racialists people.

bakaq a.k.a ~penarik beca said...

Cik Gu Sahab

Though i didnt say, but i've been waiting for your comment on this sucking "no school fees" propaganda.

i have to pay RM95 for my son and another i cant remember the amount for my daughter. i have paid both.

maybe no big deal to some people, but what about those who cant afford?

Kata Tak Nak said...

Ali, Hantu, Monty,Bakaq.
I have been out of touch with administration ever since I was transferred after which I resigned from being a PK in school so I really do not know what that idiot means when he says about 'you don't have to pay if you don't want to'.

From what I understand, he means the packages A,B and C are compulsory so you have to pay that. If the school adopted category A you must pay the RM30+. Anything above that, like PTA or computer club or Chuah Soi Lek Welfare Fund is not compulsory so you don't have to pay.

As hantutelor said, if you don't pay up, your child may be harassed. into paying. The thing is teachers are harassed by the admin to collect so they in turn harass the students.

From the little that I know and from what I understand from my readings, schools are not supposed to make any collection on any amount other than the amount stipulated in the 3 categories. If they wanted to collect more then they would have to get the permission of the JPNs. Almpst every parent I have met said that their childrens fees are more than the stipulated amount which means either The JPN allowed it or schools do it without informing the JPNs. Why do they do this? Let me relate what I told the education officers from the kementerian once during a meeting. I told them, "You all give us 10K and ask us to spend 100K". Thats the real situation. Cost is very high but government allocation to schools is low so schools make use of the PTA to get the funds thus the PTA fees which could be quite high.

I am one who believes that no government should spare any expense when education is concerned. Our government must increase grants to schools by more tan 100 percent so that schools do not teach their charges to be beggars and do not force their teachers to call up factories or companies to beg for money. I have done those things so I know.

If oncreasing the grants amounted to a big amount then cut allocations elsewhere but compromise not on education.

How do you do it then? Its so simple really make sure you pay the correct amount for a screwdriver set or digital camera or submarine or fighter or a km of road so that the money saved could be channelled into education.

What is happening now is really a mess. It seems that Pengetuas and Guru Besars are themselves in the dark as to what they can and not do. This situation varies from state to state and the Menteri himself has not come out with a clear enough instruction.

This vagueness I think is intentional.

Hi&Lo said...

Sir, so much hidden cost tho supposed to be free.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Hi&Lo
They chose to hide the cost. It should be on the table for all to see then people will know what education is all about. Heck if we have 10 million students in schools and the government grants an extra RM100 per head it would only come to a measly 1 billion. Whats an extra 1 billion for education sake?

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

hishamuddin shot his mouth in news today. he was heard being sarcastic to parents who refused to pay for extra school fee. and this what they meant by free education. wasnt this what parents were promised of during the last election didnt they?

hantutelur said...

Hi, Monty, thank you for remembering. It's been a while. The hardship of seeing your children grow is something that I never regret. It's true as the minister said parents can spend hundreds of ringgit per month for ciggy but that's not the point in question now.

Cikgu,
Looks like my children's school adopt the Pakej A but I noticed e.g. that there are double charges on test papers and sports/MSSM. Those days test papers are FOC.

Come sports day parents will have to donate RM5 - RM10 per pupil.

Additional workbooks? Why? Bantuan workbooks are not good enough? At end of the year 80% of these workbooks (bantuan and purchased ones) are not fully utilised.

I don't mind spending grands for my children's education but it seems that most education they get is out of school. Parents who can't afford extra tuition classes as Monty does will have children deprived of proper education.

I'm sorry to say this, cikgu, as you are a cikgu. But a lot of things are wrong these days. My place is on an island where teachers, though quarters are provided for them, stay on the mainland. They leave the school before the children do. Most parents don't know the teachers as they don't mingle with kampung folks.

With liars as ministers and suckers as teacher what will our children be?

Kata Tak Nak said...

Hantutelor,
Actually schools cannot ask for donations anymore, thats what they say. Some schools, like mine, where the principal is very afraid of going against instructions, there will be no more donations, period but some principals act as if they are more powerful than the menteri.

I have been a teacher for 31 years and spent some years as an administrator so you don't have to apologise when you want to criticize teachers. I know how some of them behave especially the younger lots. Its mostly teachers themselves who take away the nobility from the profession. To them teaching is just another profession.

Believe me when I say that we the older group sometimes sit and lament about this state of affairs. We find their actions, especially their attitude very unbecoming.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Kerp,
Yes, I saw on the late news how cynical kerismudin was but he couldn't give an acceptable explanation.

There should only be 1 collection and this collection must be sanctioned by the Kementerian and since the intention of the PM of initiating this is to lessen the burden of parents, the collection MUST be less than before. Otherwise this will all turn into a joke, a bad one at that.

cakapaje said...

Salam Cikgu,

I have thus far refrained myself from commenting as I have no firsthand experience on the matter. Still, that does not mean I am not concerned about the issue, as it affects Malaysians, especially the poor.

In The Star today, Toyol mentioned that the Selangor Gov't will assist parents who cannot afford the extra fees. One, this is quite contradictory to Kerismudin's blast at parents as commented by kerp.

The other, could it be that other state governments would follow suit and use this as another election gimmick? It makes me sick just to think about it.

hantutelur said...

Che'Gu,

"To them teaching is just another profession."

Profession is a noble word. On the contrary, teachers nowadays take teaching as "just another job". Punch in, punch out and at the end of the month grab your paycheck.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Shah,
I read today how aaaw was ranting about parents refusal to pay extra fees. Why in the 1st place do they shout out "No School Fees"? Do they think they could continue playing us for fools? Now they want to get cynical and sarcastic? They ought to be taught a lesson, a costly one.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Hantutelor,
Yes, indeed, it is just another job and they are calculative as to what job you give them. There are teachers who scold the principal for giving them 'too much work'. When you have 300,000 10% comes to 30,000 and if you have that many shitheads, it shows.

monsterball said...

When I wanted tom put my son in a welknown school...I had to donate a piano.
And another huge amount for my daughter.
That was donkey years go......I "wonder if it is still happening now.
And most commonly "corruptions" or "kickbacks"...by headmasters/mistress is getting a commission from all sorts of sellers... allowing them to go to school...display their goods for sale.
Just today....my daughter asked for another RM500. She said the first RM300 is for books and now the RM500....partly for school fees and uniforms..shoes..etc.
She said she received a circular letter asking for RM180 by the school..It is compulsory.
All I know...I trust her and give the amount..as both of us are busy working...to make ends meet.
Just study the way Hussein is talking ...then his reactions.
He is a spoil brag.....think too much of himself......coming from a line of welknown family.......but he is the worst of the lot....a real shame to the family good name.
He is exposing he is an idiot too..not too smart.......but you can bet your life....UMNO will cover his arse....like they do always..for each other........like a gang.....not like elected people for the country..by the country or with the country.It is always with themselves..by themselves..for themselves.....sucking the country high and dry.

muteaudio said...

Salam Cikgu,
Saya prnah komen mengenai perihal yuran free masa belanjawan diumumkan tahun lepas. Nampaknya memang betul lah. Perbelanjaan untuk yuran sekolah bukannya percuma, cuma cheaper by RM4.50.

Satu lagi situasi, yuran sekolah semakin meningkat tetapi monsun tetap datang setiap hujung tahun. Macam mana nelayan di pantai timur cope dengan keadaan ini?

Kata Tak Nak said...

Monty,
You are right, Kerisamudin is a disgrace to his family. He knows nothing.

Kata Tak Nak said...

muteaudio,
Depa tau yang monsun tetap akan datang dan membawa banjir bersama, apa depa buat nak atasi masalah ni.

Saya baca tadi, depa kata ada about 5.7 million students so why not instead of schools mengenakan fees, gomen bagi extra grant of 100 per head, baru 570 million. Takkan tak buleh kot? Nak belanja monsun cup buleh.

monsterball said...

90% of my friends of all races in Malacca are teachers. Malacca and Penang pride themselves to have best teachers in my schooling days....followed closely by Ipoh and Batu Pahat.
Visiting them...almost 100% complained the unfair and totally sickening way UMNO run the schools...firstly favoring only Malay teachers to be promoted.
So many of my friends that have their Malay students who are teachers..got promoted.....to become their superior officers...when they know next to nothing.
To make things difficult for the other races..they put out tough Bahasa papers ...that they must pass...to qualify for promotions.
And few complaint the history books are not accurate at all..but dare not speak out...for fear of being sack. They need to teach to support their families. They are all in that profession....cannot change.
Yes hantutelur is correct....teaching is a profession..but almost all treat it as a job.
It's the root...UMNO...that got this tree fucked up...so that the not so smart Malays can catch up with the others.Now the Malays are at par..still play race favoritism in promotions...in schools and universities. That's why our education system is one of the worst in Asia.....when before..we are even better than Singapore..as so many Singaporeans came to study here. Where are they now?
It is a never ending insincere government we have. They do not know when to stop and change for the better.It is so sinful to keep race and religion politics to an advance country like Malaysia....but they keep doing it...to get their own race.....under control..feeling insecured without them...that's their politics..mind control..divide to rule.
It is actually quite cruel for UMNO to brainwashed and control weak minds...but that is their culture and their expertize to keep winning elections.
We can see..in 2007...so many rallies.so many demonstrations against the government....much much larger and more than ever before. What did they say? They say..it's opposition parties election ploys. How are they going to learn...if for every thing....they have a stupid answer to cover their sins.
Such attitudes are what most young Malaysians have become....boastful..cunning....talk alot.....giving out hot airs.. actions...and they can group together .united like UMNO...all Malays..to give the boss a taste of their cunningness ..if they are no happy.....not if boss is not happy with their work. Many Chinese bosses have suffered this treatment...thus they stick to employing Chinese...and the government twist it to say...these bosses do not support a Malaysian concept....but are racialists. Ofcourse..they dare not talk too much.....as they know ...they are the masters in making these cunning characters.
To sum up...our schools cannot never be great.when promotions are made according to race and not according to merits..but God is great.even their own race is now not happy...as when one keep practicing such sinful acts...one will get the same treatment from the ones they are suppose to have helped...as greediness is there too. Every action...have an equal reaction.

Anonymous said...

I am a recently retired chinese administrator of a town school. Allow me to add a few comments. At this day and time, the rot in the profession unfortunately is not confine to any race.I have seen wonderful Malay HMs who give so much time and effort to the school. At the same time I have seen HMs from other races that are promoted for whatever reasons and made a mess with finance and discipline in the name of race and religion.They can be called by the ministry to explain certain things but they are still rewarded when all the teachers know otherwise. So let's be fair. I can't speak for other states or schools but those I know tells otherwise.

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