A Pakatan Harapan MP has questioned whether Chinese vernacular schools (SJKC) can survive the declining birth rate in the community.

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin said only 40,000 ethnic Chinese babies were born in 2022, making up less than 10% of the total 423,124 Malaysian babies born that year.

He said that in five years time, these babies will enter Standard One.

“Nationally, there are a total of 1,200 SJKCs for them to choose from.

“Assuming all go into these schools (most likely not, because some will go to private schools or national schools), on average, each SJKC will only get 33 new students,” he said in a Facebook post.

Sim said that on average, 33 new students means only one Standard One class per SJKC.

“Nowadays, many SJKCs in rural areas are already categorised as ‘SKM’ (Sekolah Kurang Murid),” he said, referring to schools with fewer than 150 students.

Even in urban areas, he said, Chinese vernacular schools are “fighting to get students enrolled”.

“In five years time, the situation will only grow more serious. No students, no schools. Will SJKCs survive?” he said.

Source : FMT

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