The principal of a secondary school in Batu Pahat, Johor has apologized for segregating students registering for extra-curricular activities based on their race and gender.
SMK Dato Bentara Luar will restart registrations for all after-school activities, which include football and firefighting, and ensure diverse membership in each of the school clubs and teams, according to Abdul Razak Hamid yesterday. His statement comes after a registration form for first-year students circulated online, indicating gender and race requirements for certain activities such as opening football to Malay boys only.
“It was not the school’s intention to create racial division,” the statement said. “We’re sorry for the oversight and promise to not repeat the same mistake in the future.”
The statement was shared to the media, as well as, to Prince of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
In the form, the Chinese-language club was only open to students of Chinese descent while the Interact Club inter-school exchange was only for students of Chinese and Indian ethnicities. Football and sepak takraw were only open to Malay boys, while ping pong and basketball were only for students of Chinese descent. Girls were not allowed to join the cadet firefighters club, even though the FireFighters Department said it welcomed all students.
All secondary school students aged 13 to 17 are required to take up at least one after-school sports activity under the “1Student 1Sport” policy. Many schools also required students to join at least one uniformed group and another club unrelated to sports.
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This article, Johor school accused of segregating students to restart co-curricular activity registrations, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.