First 30 cluster premier schools & those not on the list? 31.3.2007.
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw believes that the Education Minister must explain how he is going to deal with the reactions of thousands of schools not in the list of cluster premier schools and how he overcomes the negative aspects.
Will those schools in the cluster list work harder and those who have not been selected become disappointed?
Dr Tan issues a statement after the Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein has announced the list of 30 cluster premier schools since 30 March, 2007.
According to the Education Minister, he will gradually list the 300 cluster schools, to lay down the foundation for the formal change by 2010. He stresses that it is not all about schools with big names and past glories. The30 selected have the potential to achieve excellence.
Hisham has set up a Cluster Schools Advisory Board, chaired by the former Director-General of Education, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad. The criteria he uses to list these schools are of interest.
We hope that the listed schools such as Sultan Alam Shah School, Putrajaya, SMK Penang Free and SJKC Keat Hwa, Alor Star and SJKT Simpang Lima, Klang, will work harder, so that they can attain international standard.
If these cluster schools are not run and monitored effectively, major changes may lead to sacrifices by some; the educational gap may increase. Hence, the Education Minister's emphasis on monitoring is very important.
Besides wishing that the 30 selected schools will not let the people down, we are very concerned with the reactions of those which have not been picked. Why can't schools such as Malay College, Kuala Kangsar, be in the list? I went to Chung Ling, Penang, and my two children were in Kuen Cheng, Kuala Lumpur. What are these schools lacking, compared with those 30 in cluster?
Malaysia has more than 9,000 primary and secondary schools. Many are really good. I am truly convinced that such schools as Malay College, Chung Ling and Kuen Cheng, will try their utmost to do better, producing more students who contribute to society.
Hisham has yet to present a complete picture of smart schools. Now, he talks about cluster premier schools, saying that they have a chance to attain world class.
We continue to follow smart schools and cluster schools. Successive education ministers introduce their own programmes. We would like to see that they succeed.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw