The DAP Organising Secretary, Mr. Lim Kit Siang, today (16.8.68) issued the following statement:
The Democratic Action Party fully supports the proposal to establish a National University, to provide opportunities for higher education for National secondary schools.
The national school system is the step-child of the government. Its standard is low, teaching poor, and its certificate, the S.P.M., worthless.
This is why there is an exodus of students from national schools to national-type English schools. This is why although Alliance Ministers, including the Education Minister, Inche Khir Johari, warned parents not to send their children away from national schools to English schools, none of their children is studying in any of the national schools.
In fact, Alliance Ministers have so little confidence in their own education system, that some of them even send their children abroad just for primary and secondary education.
At present, the national secondary schools illustrate the utter failure of the Alliance government to bring meaningful education to the rural areas.
Products of national secondary schools have no future for educational advancement. They can’t even get into the MARA college, which takes in students from national-type English schools.
This short-sighted education system is fraught with danger, because it is in effect half-educating hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, not training them adequately to lead a decent life, but sufficiently to make them aware of the injustices done on them.
There are 150,000 students in national secondary schools and 600,000 students in national primary schools.
What is to become of them? Are they destined to get a worthless piece of paper certificate, and join the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed, the frustrated, the discontented?
Education is the key to the abolition of rural poverty, because education will bring about the revolution of values needed before any traditional society can make the transition to a modern nation.
The DAP fully supports the National University idea, because we believe it can make a contribution to national economic development.
It is on the same grounds that we had supported the proposed Merdeka University project. We believe that regardless of the language of education system, so long as the content is Malaysian-oriented, it will be able to produce a scientific, Malaysian-minded new generation, to get Malaysia into the modern age.
We call on the government to immediately convene a meeting of educationists to draft and plan out the National University, and to give support in every way, whether finance, resources, ideas, to the early establishment of the national University.
Audited on 2021-04-08.