PUTRAJAYA, January 14 – The education ministry has sought ideas and expertise from key stakeholders and experts from various education platforms to identify the needs of the Indian community in every stage of education.
Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan (pic) said the purpose of yesterday’s hour-long, closed-door meeting was to identify new ideas and potential opportunities to be proposed and included in the 11th Malaysia Plan.
He said the ministry would organise a two-day brainstorming session, beginning Saturday, at the Universiti Malaya with more than 100 key players and non-governmental organisations to focus on ideas and views, in order to bring structural changes in the education for Indians.
“The 11th Malaysia Plan is very important and the last plan before Malaysia achieves high income nation status in 2020. The views and inputs will be parallel with the Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025),” he noted.
Kamalanathan was speaking to reporters after chairing the meeting with some 30 education key players at his ministry here today. He said the session titled, ‘Indians Education Milestones towards 11th Malaysia Plan’ was divided into five main clusters for discussion with sub-topics, which would be coordinated by a facilitator.
“The clusters and sub-topics are pre-school strengtening, SJKT endeavours (building and infrastructure, low enrolment and finance), challenges, polytechnic enrolment and universities and matriculation intakes,” he explained.
On another issue, Kamalanathan said relocation of Tamil schools with low number of students to a nearby housing areas in urban development was among ways to attract more pupils. “It is not only in Tamil schools. There are few schools in the country facing a similar situation.
The ministry is trying to do what can be done to ensure most students are able to register in the same school. “We are now looking into places to relocate some schools, beside improving the education syllabus and quality,” he added.
Citing an example, Kamalanathan said Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Seaport which had been relocated, received good response from parents and students, with an increase of students from 80 students (before relocation) to 210 this year.
The SJKT Seaport, relocated three kilometres away from the previous site, sports a four-storey building. Kamalanathan said a total of 88,880 students of all standards are attending Tamil schools to date.