Need genuine efforts to identify children who do not go to school.
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Education Ministry to improve its methods of identifying children who do not go to school.
As the ministry would like to make sure that all children go to school, it should work out better methods of keeping up-to-date records of children who do not attend schools.The ministry records showing between 80,000 and 125,000 children who do not go to school may not necessarily reflect the true situation.
On 18.9.2009, Dr Tan comments on the statement of Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong who said that strategies would be formulated to convince parents to send their children to schools yesterday.
All are agreed that it is not enough to have compulsory education at primary school. We have to ensure that no children are left out. Indeed, the logical step is to make secondary education compulsory with adequate facilities for various types of students.
I have asked the Education Ministry about the number of children who are not at schools. The answer has not been satisfactory. Now, the Eduction Minister comes out with classes for adults to instil in them the importance of education and pre-schools.
I hope the ministry conducts a detailed study on the number of children who are not at schools and the reasons for their absence. I would like to see the strategies that are effective in solving the problem.
The ministry must show that these strategies are value for money.Between 2003 and 2009, it spent at least RM3.2 billion to implement the teaching of Mathematics and Science using English (PPSMI) which has been stopped. As the results have not been encouraging, the public are against PPSMI. Even though the number of children absent froms chools may not be that big, we still would like to see the ministry adopting workable strategies.
Dr Tan Seng Giaw