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Hisham: View fees as donation

Sunday January 6, 2008

PUTRAJAYA: Parents who have already paid non-mandatory fees to school should treat the payment as a kind of contribution to the institution instead of seeking a refund.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said there were some parents who had never attended a single Parent-Teacher Association meeting and yet reacted angrily when asked to fork out these fees.

“These parents should instead be sincere in helping school authorities to enhance their children's performance,” he said, adding that there were some Chinese schools where the parents voluntarily paid up these fees in order to ensure that the students enjoyed facilities such as a well-stocked libraries and computers.

“The parents there are also proactive in helping the schools and coming up with activities that can benefit the students.

Topsy-turvy: Hishammuddin having a go at one of the contraptions at Putrajaya Wetlands Saturday, much to the excitement of those who attended his ministry’s Family Day celebration.
“However, there are some parents who insist on letting this burden be shouldered entirely by the schools,” he told reporters after attending the ministry's Family Day celebrations at Putrajaya Wetlands here yesterday.

On Friday, Hishammuddin said that schools could not force parents to pay additional fees as these were not mandatory but were decided by the schools and the PTAs.

Parents, he said, could also air their grouses to the ministry if they felt they were being forced to do so by the schools.

Many parents had complained about the imposition of additional fees in certain schools since the start of the new academic term on Thursday, with some claiming that the sum could reach above RM100 or RM200.

This was despite the Government's announcement that it would scrap school fees beginning this year.

However, Hishammuddin said that the ministry had no plans to streamline the payment of these additional fees because there were some parents who actually wished to contribute to the schools.

“Some of them may be millionaires and can afford to give the sum or in fact, more than what the schools ask for. We don't want to hinder them.

“But those who really cannot afford to do so, can ask for this sum back,” he said.

On the next general election, Hishammuddin, who is also the Barisan Nasional Youth chief said every component member in the coalition was to only field qualified candidates, who could afford to give their best.

“The rakyat are now more intelligent and critical in their evaluation of candidates.

“The component parties must choose carefully,” he said, adding that Barisan Youth was ready to face polls.

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