PERTH: The Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has been conferred the honorary Doctor of Letters degree by Australia’s Curtin University in recognition of her efforts in the development of education, particularly children’s education through the Permata Negara programme.
Curtin University chancellor Dr Jim Gill presented the doctorate to Rosmah at the institution’s convocation here on Saturday.
Also present at the event were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s High Commissioner to Australia Datuk Salman Ahmad and Malaysia’s Consul-General in Perth Hamidah Ashari.
More than 500 graduates of the university, a number of them Malaysians, received their respective degrees at the convocation.
Rosmah, in her acceptance speech, said many of the world’s social ills could be mitigated if education was made accessible to all, including rural people and the urban poor.
She said that when the young were prepared from an early age, they would be mentally, emotionally and psychologically more adept in projecting the best of themselves by the time they reached tertiary education.
“It is proven that the formative years of a child, to at least five years of age, significantly determine his or her ability to succeed later in life.
“There could potentially be a lost opportunity if we do not invest in the right kind of early education for our children,” she said.
Rosmah said the setting-up of the Early Childhood Education and Care Programme under the Permata Negara banner was to ensure that Malaysia’s education focused on holistic human development from an early age and to ensure that the country could build profound human capital.
Curtin University conferred an honorary doctorate in technology to former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2006. — Bernama