The Star online
Monday August 13, 2007
Small school in dire straits
By ANTHONY TAN
Ever heard of a school occupying a building smaller than most bungalow lots?
SJKT Rajaji in Air Itam, Penang, is one such school. It sits on a plot, about 300 square metres, which belongs to the committee of an adjacent Hindu temple.
The 65-year-old school, which has six classrooms, is in dire need of new premises.
Air Putih assemblyman Datuk Lye Siew Weng said the building was not suitable any more for the school which has an enrolment of 115, including 13 kindergarten pupils.
He said the school also carried the distinction of being the only school in the Air Putih state constituency.
The items, sponsored by Lye's service centre and business- man M. Muthu and his wife L. Sharmila, were given in con-junction with the 50th National Day.
Lye appealed to the state government to provide a plot of land for the school's relocation.
“The students deserve to study in a bigger building and better environment,” he said.
In its desperate need to have bigger premises, the school is eyeing an adjacent privately-owned tiny plot where its Parent-Teacher Association chairman P. Muniandy said a four-storey building could be built.
“We have begun to look for funds to buy the plot,” he said.
The school's senior assistant R. Muniandy thanked Lye, Muthu and Sharmila for the gift of toys and flags.
He said it would help instil pa-triotism among the pupils.
Seeing that the school did not have a PA system to conduct the presentation, Lye pledged to contribute a system next year.
In March last year, state Health, Welfare and Caring Society Com-mittee chairman P.K. Subbaiyah named SJKT Rajaji as among seven Tamil primary schools in Penang which were in “dire straits” as the owners of the land they are on want their property back for development purposes.