Compulsory secondary education
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw proposes that the Government find ways and means to implement compulsory secondary education, in addition to the compulsory primary education and free education.
Dr Tan made this proposal during the debate on the 2008 Supply Bill (Budget) on 10.9.2007.
The allocation for education and training is RM 43.8 billion (24.8% of the total) as a strategy to strenghthen human capital development. This is a step in the right direction. The Ministry of Education gets RM 30 billion. Examinations fees are waived in 2007 and in 2008 the fee for Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia and the annual fees for primary and secondary schools will be abolished. All 5.7 million students, irrespective of their families' income are eligible for textbook loan.
We hope that headmasters in over 10,000 primary and secondary schools will improve school administration to ensure that all budget proposals are implemented effectively. Cut down red-tape and bureaucracy.
It seems that every time there is a new minister of education, a new plan is launched. For example, Tan Sri Musa initiated the Education Development Plan (2001 -- 2010). Dato' Seri Hishamuddin has launched the Education Master Plan (2006 --2010). The two plans overlap. The minister has to ensure that the two plans are implemented successfully.
Over five years ago, the ministry introduced smart schools. At present, the number appears to stagnate at 88 schools; we do not know how successful these schools are. But then, there are 10,000 schools. How many years do we need to make all schools smart? Before the smart school project can be fully implemented, the ministry wants cluster schools.
We require greater efforts by the ministry to make secondary education not only free, but also compulsory. Compulsory primary education presents problems. Compulsory secondary education will face more challenges.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw