Reply to Malacca Chief Education Officer, Mr. M.Murugesu, on low quality and standard of education in Malacca primary schools
The Malacca Chief Education Officer, Mr. M. Murugesu, has denied in today’s local press that the quality and standard of education in Malacca primary schools are low, as I stated in a statement on August 1.
Mr. Murugesu claimed that, on the contrary, the Malacca result in last year’s Std. V Assessment Examination was the best in the whole country. He even claimed that the Malacca schools, of all language streams, scored the best results in all the subjects. He is satisfied that Malacca schools have done well.
Firstly, I must thank Mr. Murugesu for his official reaction, although I wonder why it took him two full months before doing so.
Secondly, I stand by every word of my statement of August 1, where I stated that the quality and standard of education in the primary schools in Malaysia, including Malacca, for all language streams are low and unsatisfactory.
I had pointed out that from last year’s Std. V Assessment Examination results, the Malacca primary schools have not done well. As for the Malacca Chinese primary schools, although they are better than other states, they are not satisfactory either.
Thus, there is no reason for a backward country to be proud just because it is the least backward of the whole lot. Similarly, there is nothing to be proud for a state to be the best of the worst.
Thus, for last year’s Std. V Assessment Examination, the following are the percentage of failures for each subject for Chinese primary schools in Malacca:
1971 Std. V Assessment Examination
Percentage of Failures (Chinese primary schools in Malacca)
Bahasa Malaysia I 39%
Bahasa Inggeris I 45.9%
Geography – History 29.4%
I do not think that any Chief Education Officer, principal, teacher or parent have reason to be proud at such high rate of mass failures.
I must confess my surprise that Mr. Murugesu should be so happy and proud at results where 30 per cent of the Chinese primary school students failed their Chinese, Geography-History, 40% failed in Bahasa Malaysia I and 46% failed in Bahasa Inggeris I.
A look at the results of the English primary schools very flattering either. The following are the percentage of failures for each subject in English primary schools in last year’s Std. V Assessment Examination:
Percentage of Failures (Malacca English primary schools)
Bahasa Malaysia II 21.7%
Bahasa Inggeris II 33.1%
The results of national primary schools are also very shocking:
Percentage of Failures (national primary schools)
Bahasa Malaysia II 25.3%
Bahasa Inggeris I 48%
But the most shocking of all are the results of the Tamil primary schools in Malacca, which are as follows:
Percentage of Failures (Tamil primary schools)
Bahasa Malaysia I 62.2%
Bahasa Inggeris 52.3%
All these who study the high rate of mass failures of our primary students in all language streams will be shocked that the Malacca Chief Education Officer is very happy and proud about these results.
As for myself, as long as I am Member of Parliament for Bandar Malacca, I will continue to criticize such low educational standards, for I do not believe that the parents of 30%, 40% or 50% of the students who failed are contented with the educational standards.
No Chief Education Officer should be contented until the percentages of failures are cut below 10 %.
Thirdly, Mr. Murugesu is incorrect when he claimed that the Malacca schools scored the best results in all the states, including all the subjects concerned, in last year’s Std. V Assessment Examination.
This is an empty boast, and if Mr. Murugesu wants proof with data and percentage, I am prepared to give to him.
Fourthly, for the last two months, I had been trying to awaken the public and the parents to the generally shocking quality and standard of education in Malaysian schools throughout the country. Instead of getting the co-operation of educationists, principals and teachers, there seemed to be a conspiracy to try to cover up the magnitude of the low quality in primary schools.
I hope Mr. Murugesu will take lead in initiating state-wide projects to find out the causes for such shocking results, and what is being done to remedy them.
Fifthly, I am very grateful to Mr. Murugesu for his invitation to go to his Education Office and meet him to find out about the situation of education in Malacca.
I had tried to contact him this morning, but he was out. As I have to leave by 2 p.m. for Johore Bahru where I have to attend the sixth anniversary celebration of the Johore Bahru Branch, I have requested my colleague, Sdr. Bernard Sta Maria, State assemblyman for Kota Timor, to arrange for an appointment tomorrow morning.
I hope Mr. Murugesu will furnish me with all the particulars that I will be asking for, so that I can have an even more complete picture of the educational standards and quality in Malacca primary schools.
I am sure that more data will only strengthen my argument that although Malacca schools are better than many other states, they are by themselves of far from satisfactory standard.
I hope Mr. Murugesu will do his part to uplift the standard of education of the new generation of Malaysian students, for their future employment, welfare and well-being are closely involved.