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Penang govt welcomes plan to preserve convent schools

GEORGE TOWN (July 20): The Penang state government welcomes the plan by the Sisters of the Infant Jesus (SIJ) Malaysia to preserve the character and ethos of the convent schools in the state, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

Chow said he had met with the nine representatives of the owners yesterday, who updated him on the status of the schools.

"It was a fruitful one-hour meeting at Komtar where the state obtained a clearer picture of the situation. We were happy to note that the Sisters had no intention to sell the land and buildings of the Convent schools for redevelopment," he said in a statement here today.

He said the state was told that the Sisters were looking into the possibility of providing education that is in line with the ethos of the Convent schools.

However, Chow said the state government understood that the Sisters had asked for the Convent schools' premises, which were taken over by the education ministry in 1972 to be used as federal-assisted schools, to be returned to them.

He said the application process started in September 2016 and their request had since been approved by the ministry late last year.

The schools’ were represented by the The Lady Superior of Saint Maur Sr Mary Theresa Chua while Deputy Chief Minister (II) P Ramasamy was also present during the meeting here.

It was reported in an English daily last month that the Sekolah Kebangsaan Convent Light Street, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Convent Light Street and SMK Convent Pulau Tikus, would be closed down by 2024 and the land returned to their owner, the Sisters of Infant Jesus Malaysia.

The report also stated that the Education Ministry has heeded a request from the landowner to return the land and had stopped the intake of new students in the three schools since last year.

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