Extract from The Star, Sunday March 1, 2015
Historic school to shut down in
Classes will be over at the 124-year-old SK Pykett Methodist
School once its final term ends in 2019. Studies at the historic
school will continue until the current batch of Year Two pupils
complete their primary education. The intake for Year One pupils
was stopped this year. Bishop of the Methodist Church in Malaysia
Dr Ong Hwai Teik said its education council had been in talks with the
Education Ministry to phase out the school since 2010. "It was
finally decided by the authorities that SK Pykett Methodist Penang will
be phased out gradually within the time frame of five years (2015-2020).
Pykett Methodist was founded as part of the Anglo-Chinese School Penang
of Mehthodist Boys School by Reverend B. H. Balderstone. The
school's enrolment, said Dr Ong, had been dwindling over the years.
"This is a phenomenon that seems to affect schools located within
the inner city - not only in Penang but in other urban centres in the
country," he said in a statement here yesterday. The council,
said Dr Ong, was also aware of the aspirations under the National
Education Blueprint, which sought to maximise the use of human and
financial resources, We believe that the decision by the ministry
to phase out the school is in linewith such considerations, he said.
However, Dr Ong gave an assurance that the phasing out of SK Pykett
Methodist would not diminish the church's comiitment to its
education mission, especially in Penang. "The Methodist
Church has and will
contine to contribte to the field of education. This has been our
mission for more than a century and SK Pykett Methodist, set up in
1891, is an example. But times are changing and we will have to
adjust our strategy and make new plans to continue with our mission,"
he said. The future of the school's site at Westland Road, said
Dr Ong, would be made by the relevant authorities. "We have not
reached that stage yet," he said of the land that is owned by the
church. It was earlier reported that several parents were shocked
and disappointed that the school was beiing phased out.
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