School heads in Penang have been instructed or “advised” not to invite State Government leaders and other elected representatives in Penang as VIPs and guests-of-honour. The message was conveyed during a briefing last Wednesday by a senior official from the Penang Education Department, which comes under the federal-level Education Ministry.
The directive/”advice” to play on the safe-side was made verbally (and not in writing), according to a principal of a school in Penang and confirmed by another senior staff member from the same school. They were understandably indignant at the ruling.
This just shows the kind of small-mindedness among certain Education Dept/Ministry officials. I believe even DAP-PKR state assembly members who are not holding exco posts may now not be invited as VIPs/guests-of-honour to schools.
Take a look at this year’s Penang Schools Sports Council (MSSPP) meet, which is opening today in Batu Kawan and closing on Friday. The Penang school sports meet traditionally has been officially opened by the Governor of Penang and closed by the Penang Chief Minister. But this time around, my second source said that the invitation cards issued to schools indicates that the closing ceremony will be officiated by the State Education Director.
I wonder if there is a similar ruling/”advice” in the other four opposition-controlled states. Perhaps readers of this blog who are school heads can tell us.
But I think there is a silver lining. This directive will, unwittingly, give the new Penang State Government leaders more time to spend on running the state efficiently, instead of wasting time officiating at routine school functions. Though I am sure the Education Department officials did not have that in mind!
Now, the question is, will USM officials follow suit and avoid State Government leaders like the plague?