Speech by DAP Secretary- General and Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka, Mr. Lim Kit Sang, when speaking to the Johore State DAP Standing Sub-Committee on Sunday, 15th April 1973 at Kluang DAP premises at 2p.m.
Last July, at a public rally in Tangkak, I spoke of the great urgency that parents should waken up to the very poor quality and standard of education their children are getting in Malaysian primary and secondary schools.
I had given some figures in connection with the 1971 Std. V Assessment Examination. Thus, for Chinese primary schools, for the whole state of Johore, out of a total of 12,215 who sat for the examination, 55.3% failed in mathematics; 26.9% failed in Bahasa Inggeris I; 33.6% failed in Mathematics; 26.9% failed in Science; 42% failed in Geography-History; and 41% failed in Chinese language.
I had hope that teachers, parents and the education ministry officials would initiate comprehensive inquiries to determine and overcome this shocking state of mass failures from the primary schools up to secondary schools.
Sad to say, apart from a few MCA teachers expressing their unhappiness that this matter should ever be aired at all, no positive or concrete action was taken by educationists, teachers and parents.
Unless something radical and drastic in done to upgrade the quality and standard of education in Malaysian primary schools, then for the next decade, we are going to find mass failures in the MCE and LCE levels exceeding 10,000 a year.
I have not got the latest detailed figures of the Std. V Assessment failures in Chinese primary schools in Johore, as the Ministry of Education appeared very secretive about the examination performance of school children strengthening the view that the government does not want the parents to know how badly their children are being schooled.
However, according to an enterprising report in the Sin Chew Jit Poh on April 3, the results for the 1972 Std. V Assessment Examination Test in Chinese primary schools remain shockingly low and disgraceful.
An indication of the shockingly low standard and poor quality of education in Malaysia Chinese primary schools can be seen from the fact that in the 1971 Std. V Assessment test, 63 national-type (Chinese) primary schools had the doubtful distinction or having 100%failures among their students. Out of these 63 Chinese primary schools which scored 100% failures, 16 came from Johore. The breakdown is one each from Kulai, Mesai, Pengerang, Yong Peng, Kluang, Segamat, two each from Kota Tinggi, Batu Pahat, three each from Pontian and Benut.
These terrifying facts and figures are hidden from the public and parents so that they will continue to belabor under the illusion that they children are getting an excellent education, when the reserve is the case.
The present education system in the country, from the bottom to the top, from primary to MCE and university level, leaves very much to be desired; and the people and parents must wake up to its defects and evils if they want their children to have an assured future. Otherwise, our children can only have a very bleak and black future in store for them.