Punjabi Education Centre in Sungai Petani

August 16th, 2011 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Good effort by the community. The authorities must support the enrichment and continuation of various cultures in Malaysia and not only provide lip service or token handouts. Our diversity is a strength, not a threat.

IN a bid to preserve the Punjabi language, the Punjabi Education Centre (PEC) in Sungai Petani wants to upgrade its facilities and rope in more students to learn the language.

Its principal, Manjeet Kaur, said there had been keen interest among Punjabi parents to send their children to the centre since it started Punjabi language classes eight years ago.

“They want their children to learn the written and spoken language in order to preserve their mother tongue.

“Many children from Punjabi households prefer to speak English or Malay with their parents and grandparents. So, there is a danger of the language dying off if it is not spoken or revived for future generations,” Manjeet said.

She said intermarriages of Punjabis with people of other communities was another factor for the decline in the usage of the language.

Manjeet said the centre was now running eight classes with 62 students, aged from four to 17, every Friday at SJK(T) Mahajothi in Taman Sutera Jaya. There are 11 teachers consisting of school teachers, retirees and housewives.

“We want to upgrade the facilities so we can accommodate more students. Parents who are interested can contact us to enrol their children,” she said, adding that the centre welcomed non-Punjabi children as well if they are interested in learning the language.

Manjeet said there were 36 PECs throughout the country and they received some financial aid from the Government.

She said these centres however had to depend on local gurdwaras and donations to keep the classes going as the aid was insufficient to, among others, pay teachers and helpers.

She said they had already appealed to the Kedah government for an annual grant and hoped to receive a positive response as several other states like Penang and Perak were giving out such grants.

Those interested to know more about the centre or to help out can contact Manjeet at 016-4215658 or the centre’s chairman Tarsame Singh at 013-3601433.

source: http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2011/8/10/north/9237732&sec=North

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