Tuesday): Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad should move a
motion in Parliament when it reconvenes next month for formal adoption of the
10-year Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 for a wide-ranging debate on
education and to allow for amendments to plug grave omissions, such as the
future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools in the coming decade.
It is a great national shame that 14 months after the
Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 had been approved by the Cabinet on
June 20, 2001, the Blueprint had not been tabled in Parliament and no debate had
been held, highlighting the increasing political marginalisation and irrelevance
of Parliament in the Malaysian political scheme of things.
The MCA Seminar on the 10-year Education Development
Blueprint on Saturday was a national joke for at least three reasons:
It was held 14 months after the 10-year Education
Development Blueprint was approved by the Cabinet, when such public consultation
process should have been held
before MCA Ministers put up their hands in Cabinet in approval.
The Seminar was a pure MCA
face-saving device, especially after MCA Ministers and leaders were
exposed as completely irrelevant and ignorant
about the 10-year Education Development Blueprint when the DAP focused public
attention as to what had happened to the Blueprint
one year after its approval by the Cabinet during a DAP Education Seminar in May
The Seminar was however at most a P.R. (public relations)
exercise, to get publicity in the Chinese community through the Chinese
newspapers to show its concern about the 10-year Education Blueprint – but
completely without any intention or purpose to influence educational planning as
amending the 10-year Education Development Blueprint to plug the grave
omissions, such as the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools
in the coming decade.
This was why the English-language newspaper owned by MCA, apart from reporting the speech by the MCA President and the MCA Deputy Education Minister, virtually ignored the seminar, the eight educationists who were specially commissioned to present papers and the input and contributions of the participants. There is in fact the ridiculous spectacle of Malaysiakini giving more coverage to the proceedings to the seminar than the MCA-owned English-language newspaper.
The Chairman of the National Union of Headmasters, Kang Khoon Siew, said in his paper at the MCA Seminar that the 10-year Education Development Blueprint was only concerned about the development of national schools and had completely ignored the development and future of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
He said that such neglect had totally denied the role and contribution of Chinese primary schools to national development and excluded them from the future mainstream of national education development.
The Barisan Nasional Ministers, in particular MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and MIC leaders, should be more serious about education and explain how they could be a party to the Cabinet approval of the 10-year Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 which neglected and ignored the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools.
It is most regrettable that the MCA Seminar on the Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 had failed to come out with specific proposals to amend the 10-year education master plan, in particular to include a special chapter or section on the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools for the coming decade which, among others, should include the following objectives:
Build 500 new Chinese primary schools, or 50 new schools a year, under the 10-Year Education Development Blueprint.
Allow building of new or re-establishment of previous Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
Government recognition of Unified Examinations Certificate (UEC) of Chinese Independent Secondary Schools.
Fair allocation of development expenditures to different streams of primary schools based on student enrolment, i.e. the total development allocation of RM2.75 billion for primary schools under the five-year Eighth Malaysia Plan (2001-2005) should be distributed into RM2.1 billion or 75% for national primary schools, RM577 million or 21% for Chinese primary schools and RM99 million or 3.6% for Tamil primary schools in accordance with student enrolments.
Parliament at its meeting next month should debate the 10-year Education Development Blueprint 2001-2010 and adopt amendments to ensure that it incorporates a special chapter or section on the future development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools and mother-tongue education.