KOTA KINABALU: The Education Department of Sabah was instructed by the Department of Education to take remedial action after the news broke that a school principal decided to separate Form One students according to their religions.
Responding to media questions today, Teo Nie Ching, Deputy Education Minister, said the department had told her that education officials would go to high school tomorrow to help with "corrective action."
"Once the corrective action has been taken, the department will transfer the client to another assignment," she said.
The department, she said, has already prepared a report on the issue.
Teo added that she was shocked by the whole thing because she believed it did not help the government's attempts to foster mutual respect in a multicultural society.
Such segregation, she said, is similar to separating students based on ethnic groups.
"This decision can only be made by a narrow-minded school management. The goal, which is to simplify group activities, should not exceed the larger agenda, namely unity," she said.
Yesterday FMT reported that Form One students in high school in Kota Kinabalu were placed in classes according to their religions.
The segregation exercise began in January with four classes reserved for non-Muslim students and two more for Muslim students.
This package would be in place for the next three years.
An online petition against the school, launched three days ago, has collected more than 12,300 signatures.
The head of the school was recorded in a video explaining the reasons for the new system, including the safety of the students, the lack of classrooms for lessons in Islamic education and complaints from students confused about where their lessons were held.
Other students in form two up to and including form five are in the normal class system.