Enlist help of private schools


THE Education Ministry has once again received the highest allocation from the national budget. This has been the norm over the decades, but the cry for a more efficient delivery of education and educational services has left much to be desired – at least that’s the perception of the public.

The emergence of private education in Malaysia is part of the cost of advancement simply because the public see private educational institutions as a platform to add value to the delivery and quality of relevant skills in the school curriculum.

While allocation for government schools should be increased to achieve a better delivery system, private education institutions should similarly be assisted to achieve the same objective albeit in different forms.

Private education institutions certainly do not expect cash hand-outs from the government. What they need is a more supportive and business-friendly approach to assist them to be attractive and more relevant to the needs of society and industry. This is the raison d’etre of private education institutions in their effort to supplement and complement the public school system.

The government can render assistance to private schools in these difficult and challenging times by:

1. Allowing private schools to run programmes which public schools are unable to do efficiently. One example is the Dual Language Programme. Private schools are set up to fulfil this one wish of parents that the learning of Science and Mathematics be done in English as an option. We sincerely hope this facility is not going to be curtailed but instead advanced according to capability, demand and supply.

2. Promoting the study and usage of the three main languages in the country. This is the Malaysian uniqueness whereby our schools can promote trilingualism in a more comprehensive and effective way. This includes allowing students the option to take all three languages at primary level. As it is now, we have an archaic policy that national schools cannot offer Bahasa Cina or Bahasa Tamil leading to Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR). We see no real rationale for this restriction. Private schools should be allowed to offer Bahasa Cina/Bahasa Tamil as a UPSR subject because they have built up the capacity to do so.

3. Offering paid co-curricular and co-academic programmes without the same restrictions imposed on government schools, for example study tours. Very often, due to existing rules and regulations, schools were not able to organise tours on a regular basis because of the long timeline for approvals for tours and co-curricular activities.

In a nutshell, private schools must be allowed to respond quickly to the needs of society and industry without being encumbered by unnecessary red tape.

In this way, private education institutions will survive any unfair competition with government schools.

They are supposed to be co-existing rather than be in a red ocean. A blue ocean environment must always be created.

TENG

Batu Pahat

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