Speech by DAP Secretary-General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr.Lim Kit Siang, when addressing to inaugural meeting of the DAP Selangor Interim State Sub-Committee meeting at 63-D Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur on Friday, 4th August 1972 at 7.30p.m.
1971 Std.V Assessment Examination – Selangor Chinese schools the worst results in the whole country
In the last several days, we have given an analysis of the shockingly high rate of mass failure in last year’s Std.V Assessment Examination in all schools for the State of Perak, Malacca and Johore.
I propose this evening to give an analysis of the mass failures of Selangor primary school students in the examination last year.
What strike one when going through the results of the Selangor schools are:
(1) The Selangor Chinese schools have scored the worst results in last year’s Std.V Assessment Test, when compared to the Chinese schools in other states.
Thus Selangor topped the highest rate of failures in three subjects:
Bahasa Inggeris 66.06% failures
Mathematics 42.17% failures
Science 35.99% failures
In two subjects, it was the second worst:
Bahasa Malaysia 66.33% failures
History-geography 47.92% failures
For Bahasa China, where 49.30% failed, it was the third worst, after Perak (51%) and Pahang(50%).
This is a matter which all Selangor Chinese schools, Selangor Chinese educational organizations, Old Boys’ Associations, Teachers’ Organisations, Parents’ Associations, must take deep concern, for it is a shame for Selangor Chinese schools that its results all-round are the worst.
The results show that for all subjects, the Selangor Chinese schools students fail from 36% to 66%. Roughly, this means at least 50 per cent of the students in Standard VI in Chinese primary schools in Selangor are not academically fit to be in Std.VI, as they do not even have a clue as to what they studied when in Std.V.
Yet all of them, together with tens of thousands of others, are promoted upwards year by year. This is not only a waste of scarce public resources but a mental cruelty and torture on the pupils.
An intelligent and sensible education system would have helped these students who had not attained the required standards to repeat their course so as to narrow their gap in education.
Our education system however completely ignores their gap in education, forces them to be promoted to higher and higher forms regardless of their attainments, until by Form III, when they face their first public elimination examination, they are thrown out into the streets, unfitted for any job or role in society. By that time, it would be also too late for the parents to take any remedial or corrective action, for their children would have received nine years of mis-education.
The Chinese press have expressed concern at the low quality of education in the Chinese schools as shown by last year’s Std.V. Assessment Examination, and this is highly commendable.
Chinese teachers, principles, educationists and educational organizations in Selangor must urgently step forward to grapple with this problem and put a halt to a system where by 50% to 60% of our children fail in schools, and nothing is done to help and improve them.
I believe the parents in Selangor do not want their children to grow up as misfits. This is the time for action.
(2) The second point which a study of Selangor results brings out is the high rate of failures of national primary schools in mathematics and science, which are 55.04% and 41.83% respectively. This also calls for urgent remedial measure. The results of the national primary schools are not satisfactory as shown by the following:
Failure rates: (Selangor national primary schools)
Bahasa Malaysia II 24.22%
English I 49.37%
(3) The results of the Selangor national-type (English) schools are also very disappointing. Thus the following are the failure rates:
Bahasa Malaysia II 41.78%
Bahasa Inggeris 40.24%
This shows that English primary schools have also become schools of failures.
(4) The Tamil schools of Selangor are even worse. Thus their failure rates are:
Bahasa Malaysia 71.9%
Bahasa Inggeris 67.52%
Overall, the results are very deplorable, and it is all the more deplorable that despite national concern at the low quality of education in our schools, the Ministry of Education had tried to ignore the whole question. The same goes for the MCA.
Probably the Ministry of Education and MCA think that by keeping quiet, they could make the people forget about these shocking results. The Ministry and the MCA, UMNO and Alliance are doing the people a grave disservice in trying to ignore this gave problem. However, whatever the irresponsibility of the Ministry of Education and the Alliance and MCA, the DAP will continue to speak up and expose all forms of injustice, inefficiency and government neglect.