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Education Minister should
announce in March Parliament the number of new national, Chinese and Tamil
primary schools which will be built each year until 2010 under the Ninth
(Parliament, Saturday) : The statistics in the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010 launched by the Prime Minister more than a week ago has debunked the standard excuse given in Parliament to justify why no new Chinese and Tamil primary schools were being built – the existence of over 500 under-enrolled Chinese and over 300 under-enrolled Tamil primary schools, i.e. “Sekolah Kurang Murid” with less than 150 pupils.
According to the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010, for 2005, there are 530 Chinese primary schools and 329 Tamil primary schools with less than 150 pupils, but the number for national primary schools is even bigger – 1,642!
This did not stop the building of new national primary schools, which increased from 4,994 schools with an enrolment of 1,770,004 pupils in 1990 to 5,761 schools with an enrolment of 2,391,223 in 2005; while Chinese primary schools fell from 1,288 in 1990 to 1,287 in 2005 although there was an increase of enrolment from 581,082 to 645,669 in the past 15 years – while the number of Tamil primary schools fell from 538 in 1990 to 525 in 2005 although the enrolment for the period also saw an increase from 96,120 to 98,579.
Henceforth, when DAP MPs question the Education Ministry in Parliament as to why no new Chinese and Tamil primary schools were being built to meet increased student needs, no Education Minister, Deputy Education Minister or Parliamentary Secretary will be allowed to give the standard reply that there are over 500 Chinese primary schools and over 300 Tamil primary schools with less than 150 pupils, as we will be able to point out that there are even more “under-enrolled” national primary schools, increasing from 1,527 in 1995 to 1,547 in 2000 to reach 1,642 in 2005.
In contrast, the number of “under-enrolled” Chinese and Tamil primary schools have increased at a much slower pace, i.e. 490 in 1995 to 503 in 2000 and 530 in 2005 for Chinese primary schools and 309 in 1995 to 330 in 2000 and 329 in 2005 for Tamil primary schools.
The relevant data are from the following tables in t6he National Education Blueprint:
In the September meeting of Parliament, DAP MP for Ipoh Barat M. Kulasegaran cornered the Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Noh Omar into admitting that the Education Ministry had no plans to build any new Chinese or Tamil primary schools under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, and the ensuing furore in Chinese and Tamil communities over such discrimination forced Hishammuddin to undertake a damage control operation.
It is the unstated policy of the Education Ministry not to build new Chinese and Tamil primary schools under the five-year plans to meet the enrolment and educational needs of school children whose parents want them to be in these schools – the only exception is when the issue is used to fish for votes during general elections with the promises of a handful of new Chinese primary schools.
As in the past educational blueprint, the fair and proper development of Chinese and Tamil primary schools have been completely ignored in the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010.
This discriminatory policy must end. The government policy to strengthen national primary schools should not be at the price of denying to Chinese and Tamil primary schools fair and proper development to meet the increased enrolment and educational needs of school children whose parents want them to be in these schools.
I call on Hishammuddin to announce in the March Parliament the number of new national, Chinese and Tamil primary schools (as distinct from relocated schools) which will be built each year until 2010 under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman