DAP to organize national conference on "Education in 21st Century - Strategy for K-economy and information society" before the five-day Eighth Malaysia Plan debate in Parliament on April 23

Speech at the Perak DAP "New Deal for Mother-Tongue Education in Eighth Malaysia Plan" ceramah 
by Lim Kit Siang

(Ipoh, Sunday): DAP will organize a national conference on "Education  in 21st Century - Strategy for K-economy and an information society" before Parliament starts its five-day debate on the Eighth Malaysia Plan on April 23, 2001.

In Parliament in December 1995 during the debate on the new Education Act 1996, I had moved an amendment to the Education Bill during the committee stage of the Second Reading of the bill  to provide for computer literacy to be classified as compulsory core subjects for primary and secondary school curriculum so that Malaysia will be in the forefront of the communications and information technology revolution in the 21st century.

Other countries which were serious and far-sighted enough about their ambition to be at the cutting edge of the Information Technology revolution had already  started to revamp their education policy and strategy which included making computer literacy as one of the essential four Rs in the education of every child.

Unfortunately, the DAP's proposed amendment was rejected as the Barisan Nasional government could only talk about "smart schools" but have no concept of "smart" educational curriculum.

If the DAP proposal to make computer literacy a compulsory core subject for primary and secondary schools had been accepted by the Barisan Nasional government, Malaysia would today be better positioned to prepare the nation and in particular the new generation of Malaysians for the challenges of an information era. This was another great opportunity lost by the nation.

The larger purpose of a national education policy is not just to provide six years of primary and five years of secondary education, but to create an united, democratic, liberal, progressive and dynamic Malaysia able to compete with the rest of the world in the international arena.

The Government would soon be releasing its K-economy Masterplan, but no K-economy masterplan can succeed without the supporting educational infrastructures to prepare the population for a K-economy and an information society - i.e. an education masterplan for K-economy and I-society.


*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman