Monday, 12 November 2007

Chinese School Fund-raising Dinner

Chinese schools have traditionally relied heavily on the financial support of the Chinese community. This tradition has undoubtedly been reinforced by Chinese concern that the learning of their mother tongue and culture could only be maintained and propagated through Chinese schools. As the national school system is perceived to be increasingly more Islamic and more Malay, more Chinese parents than ever before have opted to enroll their children in Chinese primary and secondary schools. Chinese primary schools in urban areas are bursting at the seam as a result of their increasing popularity with Chinese parents.

Although primary Chinese schools receive partial funding from the government, it is never enough and most schools have fund raising activities to provide additional class rooms and facilities, and fund raising dinners are one of them.

The fund raising dinner of SRJK Hwa Jin is a case in point. The target to raise Rm 80,000 was exceeded by more than RM 20,000. The ordinary folks contributed by buying a RM 50 a seat coupon at a dinner table for 10. There were 81 tables that night. The amount pledged before the dinner was already RM 87,000.

The dinner also presented the school with the opportunity to put up cultural and modern performances to entertain the guests.

The school’s ability to raise funds no doubt lies in the willingness of the Chinese community to continue to sacrifice to maintain these schools. These schools also periodically receive donations during Chinese weddings where rich parents of the bridegrooms donate part of their ‘ang pows’ and from donations given during auctions in the annual ghost festival.

The stage where performances will be held.

Children performing the lion dance before the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony. Beating of the gongs by generous donors.

Some children who are not performers.

Teachers getting the children ready for their performance.

Waiting for their turn.

The traditional dances.

The modern dances and performances.

Some of the guests.

The proud mother.

A friend's son who is about to perform the fan dance.

A teacher on duty.

Staff and committee members of the Parents and Teachers' Association lining up to thank the guests at the end of the dinner.

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