Vernacular schools cannot just rely on the government, Najib says
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said vernacular schools cannot depend too much on allocations from the government, saying that the time has come for Putrajaya to approach the private sector to contribute to the development of these schools.
“Although the government has allocated a lot of money for vernacular schools, but it is still not enough.
“The era where government knows best is over, this means the government has to work closely with stakeholders in guaranteeing a bright future for all streams of schools in Malaysia,” Najib said during a ceremony to present funds to the SJK (C) On Pong school here.
The prime minister also claimed that Putrajaya has never neglected vernacular schools as accused by the federal opposition, citing the large sum of funds allocated for education during the recent tabling of the Budget 2013 as proof.
“The government is always sincere in helping vernacular schools, especially in terms of giving allocations and facilities.
“Even the education allocation for vernacular schools this year is the biggest in history, with a RM100 million each to Chinese national-type schools, Tamil and mission (schools),” Najib said.
At the same ceremony, RM38.3 million in donations was distributed by “The Community Chest” body to 196 schools all over the country.
The country’s former Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tun Mohamed Hanif Omar, was also present at the ceremony.
“Today’s donation-giving is the implementation of the third phase with RM38.3 million contributed to 196 Chinese and Tamil schools.
“Through joint contribution (sumbangan usaha sama) with The Community Chest, this clearly fulfills the government’s promise to contribute RM100.2 million in this one-year period,” Najib said.
Najib said that the funds distributed to vernacular schools would be used to ensure that they enjoy facilities and development equal to that of national schools.
In last year’s Budget 2012, the government gave a special supplementary allocation of RM100 million for the maintainence of SJK (C) and the building of new SJK (C) schools.
Despite Putrajaya’s various moves and initiatives, some Malaysians remain dissatisfied with the government’s role in helping vernacular schools.
Those who are unhappy include the United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong), which had last September presented an eight-point memorandum to the government, demanding that it solve problems faced by SJK (C) schools.
Dong Zong has also raised the issue of teachers’ shortage in Chinese primary schools, criticising the Education Ministry for sending teachers with no Chinese language qualifications to teach in SJK (C).
The Chinese education movement had also claimed that the country’s education policy is unfair.