KUALA LANGAT: Every child in the country must be educated till Form Five and community leaders as well as elected representatives have to ensure this.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said not a single child must be left out of school.
Abdullah said all elected representatives, grassroots leaders and village heads must ensure that children in their respective areas were registered for Year One before they reach seven years old.
In his quest for all children to be educated, he said: “Knowledge is the stepping stone to success in life. It is our responsibility to make sure our children receive an education.
“Maybe this should be made a criterion in the ‘report cards’ of the MPs and state assemblymen.
“I want them to report to me that every single seven-year-old in their constituencies is in school,” said Abdullah in his speech at Kampung Kundang here yesterday.
He was there to present the national-level excellent traditional village award.
Kampung Kundang emerged the winner this year in the contest organised by the Rural and Regional Development Ministry.
Also present were Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, both Deputy Rural and Regional Development Ministers, Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe and Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman, and Selangor state secretary Datuk Ramli Mahmud.
Abdullah also wanted efforts made to ensure that students remained in school until they completed their Form Five instead of dropping out of the system mid-way through their secondary education.
It was reported that between 2002 and last year, the number of dropouts in primary schools was over 9,700, while 43,500 students dropped out from secondary schools during the same period.
Abdullah also said: “We used to give out certificates after Form Three for the SRP (Sijil Rendah Pelajaran). Many who failed this examination had quit school and took up other jobs.
“Such a thing is in the past. Now we want to keep them until Form Five. Having an educated society is part of human capital investment.”
He said that developing human capital for a strong nation also meant serious efforts to combat poverty.
“Those with resources should help the poor. Think of creative ways to help them get out of the vicious circle of poverty.
“Do not just wait for help from the Government. It is our collective responsibility to get rid of poverty,” said Abdullah, who hoped the national goal of zero poverty could be achieved ahead of the 2010 target.
The Prime Minister also voiced his disappointment that the war against drugs, which started in the 1970s, had not yielded impressive results.
He wanted the drug menace to be wiped out and number of addicts reduced, saying drug addiction posed a serious social and economic problem.
Did you find this article insightful?