St John’s Institution principal K. Ravi Chandran’s sudden transfer raises questions, parents’ group wants him back

An audience with the Sultan of Perak, followed by a photo opportunity, seems to have caused some ‘unhappiness’ among certain quarters, leading to the sudden transfer of K. Ravi Chandran, St John’s Institution’s (SJI) principal, last month.

The SJI Parents’ Support Group claimed that the school’s governing board had pushed for the Kuala Lumpur Education Department to change the principal “without any valid reasons”.

In a statement on Feb 1, the SJI Parents’ Support Group added that Ravi Chandran should remain in the school to carry out a series of programmes he had initiated, before his retirement in February 2025.

In its statement, the SJI Parents’ Group said the issue arose due to the “unhappiness of the school’s board of governors and the Kuala Lumpur Education Department” after Ravi Chandran was granted an audience with Perak’s Sultan Nazrin Shah, last November.

Ravi Chandran, who had been with SJI since 2022, was transferred to SMK Maxwell on Jan 16. This was conveyed to him by the Kuala Lumpur Education Department in a letter dated Jan 12, signed by department director, Roslan Abu Hassan.

It is understood that Ravi Chandran had appealed against the transfer.

The saga was believed to have started after Ravi Chandran – in his letter dated Oct 13 to Sultan Nazrin’s private secretary – expressed hope that the Perak Ruler, a Johannian, would grace the school’s annual dinner to celebrate its 120th anniversary, this year.

The Perak Sultan’s office, in a letter dated Nov 27, said Sultan Nazrin had decreed for Ravi Chandran to meet him on Nov 30 at Istana Perak in Bukit Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur.

However, certain quarters felt that Ravi Chandran should have informed the school’s board of governors and the Education Department about the meeting.

Following Ravi Chandran’s transfer, T. Sivakumar was appointed SJI’s principal.

Syaiful Jeffry, who is part of the SJI Parents’ Support Group, said many parents wanted Ravi Chandran back, as he had planned a whole series of activities for the school’s 120th anniversary.

“Ravi Chandran made sure that the school shined in sports and in academics, and he had planned to have sports competitions with (neighbouring school) Victoria Institution,” said Syaiful.

Syaiful said he met Roslan on Jan 19 and handed a letter on behalf of the group to get Ravi Chandran back.

“Why should the school’s board of governors be upset that Ravi Chandran met with Sultan Nazrin? After all, it was the Sultan who had decreed to meet him. How could Ravi Chandran say no to such an invitation?

“The parents’ support group has 300 members and we had worked with Ravi Chandran to plan all the activities for our anniversary celebration.

“We do not understand the timing of his transfer. Why the rush?” he added.

Ravi Chandran, when contacted by Twentytwo13, declined to comment.

Twentytwo13 reached out to the Kuala Lumpur Education Department this afternoon. A spokeswoman confirmed that the department had received the letter from the SJI Parents’ Group, and that the matter was “still under investigation”.

Twentytwo13 has also reached out to the Education Ministry over this matter.

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