Pro-English group says public education, especially for STEM subjects, needs more funding

Students attend the first day of school at Sekolah Kebangsaan Shah Alam January 2, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Students attend the first day of school at Sekolah Kebangsaan Shah Alam January 2, 2019. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — Public education, especially on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), needs more funding, said the chairman of Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.

Speaking as part of a panel on “Education in a New Malaysia” here at the National Education and Learning Summit 2019, she said education in Malaysia remained underfunded.

“Let’s face the facts. The Education Ministry was given a budget of RM60 billion. Then we realised we were bailing out Felda, Tabung Haji, so what else do we have left?

“Of the RM60 billion over 80 per cent goes to teachers’ allowances, so what really is left for the children?” she asked.

She also pointed out that the ministry’s goal to have all Science labs operational by 2019 failed due to lack of funds.

“One of the targets of the ministry as far as STEM was concerned is that we wanted all our Science labs to be in operation by 2019.

“Unfortunately, along the way we discovered there’s a lot of syphoning of funds, you know by certain persons,” she said hinting at the corruption scandals of the previous government.

Until the Science labs are equipped, she added, education reform in STEM would not be able to move forward.

The summit organised by Kingsley Strategic Institute (KSI) is to discuss themes related to Malaysia’s education sector reform, and to focus on global citizenship education and education for sustainable development.

It brings together education experts, educationalists, policymakers and industry leaders to discuss these issues in an attempt to make Malaysian education world-class.

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