Laptop for every student if M’sia ruling party wins again

By Wani Mutiah | Source: ANN

The Malaysian government will provide every school student with a laptop next year if Barisan Nasional is returned to power.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also caretaker Education Minister, said this was in line with the Barisan Nasional manifesto and the coalition’s commitment to strengthen the usage of information technology in educational strategies and policies.

Muhyiddin said the exercise would be modelled after one being done in the United States.

“When I visited a school in the United States, I found that every student had a laptop.

“But they didn’t own the laptop. It belonged to the school and the students returned it to the school after they completed their education,” he said yesterday after meeting Tamil school teachers at SRJK (T) Simpang Lima in Klang yesterday.

Muhyiddin also said the role of parent-teacher associations (PTAs) should be strengthened with parents being given a bigger role.

He said PTAs could not continue to remain as mere associations and should be an active and important component in the national education policy.

“When I visited a school in Australia, it was the parents who received me and I saw parents playing an active role,” said Muhyiddin, adding that parents also coached students in sports in schools there.

He assured that a Barisan government would continue to support Tamil and Chinese schools as it recognised the importance of mother tongue education.

“These (mother tongue education and vernacular schools) are our heritage and legacy which have been around and accepted by the people for generations,” he said.

He said this was why some vernacular schools were allowed to remain even if they were under-enrolled and may have just 15 students in the entire school.

“As long as parents say there is a need for the school to be there, we will let the school remain,” he added.

Muhyiddin said that just as a Malay he would not like to see the Malay language disappearing into oblivion, it was the same for the nation’s Tamil and Mandarin.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Indian Congress president G. Palanivel, who was also present, thanked Muhyiddin for approving six new Tamil schools.

He said the schools were currently being built.

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