GEORGE TOWN: Old boys of the SJK (C) Sum Min here are thinking out of the box to keep the school from closing down due to poor enrolment.
The ex-pupils’ association will give out a one-time RM500 incentive to new pupils who enrol for next year’s Year One.
This is to address the problem of dwindling number of pupils registering for Year One at the school, said association chairman Datuk Loo Khay Thye.
So far, only one pupil has registered for Year One next year at the school in Lebuh Tye Sin.
The school is realistic though. It is not hoping for enrolment to hit the roof with the introduction of the incentive.
It is modestly hoping at least 10 students will enrol for Year One in 2017.
Loo, 68, said the school, which used to boast about 700 pupils in the 1980s, now has 38 pupils from Year One to Year Six.
“If there are no pupils, the school is under threat of being closed down or relocated, even though it has been a landmark here since it started in the 1920s,” he said when met yesterday at Bayan Baru.
Loo, a businessman, said the repeal of the Rent Control Act had resulted in the locals moving out of the city centre due to high rentals.
“I believe that the school has the potential to return to its glory days as there are many affordable housing projects which are coming up in the city.
“When the families move into these housing schemes within the vicinity in the near future, they will have children who need to go to school,” he said.
Loo said the association hopes to collect RM50,000 for the incentive payments.
He will kick-start the fund by contributing RM15,000.
He urged all former pupils of the school to help in the fund-raising efforts.
A fund-raising dinner will be held at the Ming Garden Restaurant at Penang Times Square on July 29 in conjunction with the association’s 43rd anniversary celebrations.
Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon is expected to attend the event.