Education Ministry ignoring needs of vernacular schools, says Suhakam
UPDATED @ 04:52:06 PM 03-09-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 3 — The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) accused the Education Ministry of ignoring the needs of vernacular schools ahead of the launching of the National Education Policy Review Blueprint on September 11.
In a press conference today, Suhakam commissioners James Nagayam and Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah along with Education and Public Relations Division officer Hasmah Abdul Manaf highlighted 18 key issues the independent body discovered after going on tour for the past three months to hear complaints raised with the commission by the public.
“It is not a case of lacking resources, they (the Education Ministry) just do not care,” said Hasmah.
Issues raised include lacking infrastructure, absence of basic amenities, government bureaucracy, missing curriculum and even untrained teachers in special education schools.
“The recent figures we have shows that more than 2,000 Orang Asli children between the ages of six and seven [who] have not registered for any schooling,” Hasmah said, referring to a figure forwarded from the Orang Asli Affairs Department.
She added that this figure “could be higher”, but the Education Ministry has refused to provide proper figures.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Sha’ani highlighted that Sekolah Agama Rakyat (SAR) schools were sending children to collect donations owing to an disentitlement from aid due to the institutions not being registered with the ministry.
“It is a problem of bureaucracy, because these schools could not adhere to the guidelines set by the ministry, they are straight away [ineligible] for government aid,” he said.
Muhammad Sha’ani added that Suhakam was in the midst of assisting state governments in assisting these schools, but the ministry must lead.
“The Education Ministry must do [its] part. Schools that have not registered or were not allowed to register are still operating in a haphazard manner,” he said.
The commissioner added that the issues highlighted during the press conference today had been presented to the ministry three weeks ago.
“We have received a call from the director general from the Ministry of Education to meet on this matter, but have yet to set a tentative date,” Hasmah said.
The new blueprint, to be launched at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, will include major shifts in regards to the English, Mathematics and Science subjects as well as the restructuring of the ministry itself, which will be implemented in three waves over the span of 13 years.