Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik welcomes anyone who is willing to help build the eight Chinese Primary Schools (SJKC), following announcement that the project would be halted due to financial constraints.

He was responding to the offer by the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) deputy president Dato' Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong to the Education Ministry to proceed with the stalled project.

"I'm open to anyone who’s willing to help, for the betterment of the nation," he told reporters after a get-together session with students at the pre-launch of the golden jubilee of Malaysian polytechnics at Ungku Omar Polytechnic, Ipoh on Saturday, June 30.

It was reported that Wee is looking for engineers and architects who are prepared to take on the projects without payment and to treat the undertaking as a charity. 

The previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government had in October last year approved the construction of 10 new SJKCs and the relocation of six with low enrolment to areas with high demand for such schools.

Wee, who was a former minister in the previous BN government had slammed Maszlee for justifying Pakatan Harapan government’s decision to halt building the new schools.

On another matter, Maszlee disclosed that his Ministry is in the midst of reviewing plans to allow students to use electronic devices for the purpose of learning. 

He added criteria such as safety and facility would be considered before a decision is made.

"It’s still in the planning stage. We want to look into safety aspects and facilities available. We don't want to have a gadget but the software is incomplete or the internet speed is low," said Maszlee. 

Maszlee stressed the importance of fulfilling these criteria first before making a decision, as poor planning will only benefit the contractors. 

“If we stress on the gadget concept only, the contractor will gain while the students will lose. Whatever we do, we must do it holistically and comprehensively,” he added.

Former Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said that students in the country’s 10,000 national schools would be allowed to bring certain mobile devices to class to encourage teaching and learning via electronic gadgets.

Nabilah Hamudin