PEKAN – Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the quality and access to education now belonged to every Malaysian based on the principle of democratisation of the field being undertaken by the government led by the Barisan Nasional (BN).
The Prime Minister said the field of education had always received the highest priority in the government’s agenda so far and this was evident, for example, when RM56 billion was allocated for that field this year alone.
“If we want to calculate the subsidies provided by the government to every student, it is definitely huge that sometimes we don’t feel or know the huge amount given to every pupil and student in the education system,” he said when attending the Teachers’ Day celebration and Pekan Excellence Award at Sultan Ahmad Shah chancellery hall, Universiti Automotif DRB-Hicom here today.
“For example, an average of RM8,000 a year for primary school is borne by the government for each pupil, while the secondary school is RM9,000 for one year and for public higher education institutions 90 per cent of the cost of education is covered by the government,” he added.
Hence, he said this symbolised a high commitment in the field of education in the context of nation building to transform the fate of the people and country.
Also present were the prime minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Pulau Manis BN candidate Datuk Seri Khairuddin Mahmud, Peramu Jaya BN candidate Datuk Sh Mohmed Fuzi Sh. Ali, Bebar BN candidate Datuk Fakhruddin Mohd Ariff and Chini BN candidate Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun.
Others were Pekan UMNO Division Education Bureau chairman Datuk Ibrahim Awang Ismail, Yayasan Pahang chairman Datuk Mahmud Mohd Nawawi and Pekan District education officer Miftah Surif.
Najib, who was at one time the education minister, said that on average Malaysia’s total education expenditure was twice as much as other ASEAN countries and far varied from that of developed and developing countries.
“In our country, currently in the context of changing the fate of a person, it is no longer distinguished by the opportunity to gain an education but rather on the determination to attain what we have dreamt because we have provided all access in this field,” he said.
Najib, who is defending the Pekan parliamentary constituency in the 14th General Election (GE14) said the Education Blueprint 2013-2015 was another transformation being undertaken by the government to transform the country into a high income nation by providing skilled human capital in the science and technology field.
“I believe there are still a lot more things the government can do to boost education because it is our desire to see the young generation with critical thinking skills, leadership quality, bilingual and with spiritual elements and national identity.
“This is in line with the Education Blueprint 2013-2025 as the basis for us to create a high income society and human capital development,” he said.
At the same time, he said the government had never sidelined the services or welfare of teachers who are the backbone in developing the country’s human capital by providing various incentives for them.
“When I became the education minister, I introduced the first time-based promotion in a public service scheme in the country and last month I announced a new promotion grade, Grade DG56 for education officers,” he added.
At the event, Najib also presented awards to outstanding students in the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), Form Three Assessment (PT3), Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) results in primary and secondary schools in the Pekan parliamentary seat. – BERNAMA