Two Main Principles Guarantee Fair Education
PUTRAJAYA : In ensuring all levels of society get a fair education, the government practices two main principles namely meritocracy and social justice, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the two principles were important to ensure success of social mobility in the country was enjoyed by all.
“As such, if the system cannot give equal opportunity to each group, there will be shortcomings in society,” he said in his speech at a dialogue with professors and associate professors of public institutions of higher learning (IPTAs), here, Thursday.
The programme was attended by Malaysian Academic Association Council representatives who represented 30,000 members nationwide.
The Prime Minister said one of the achievements the government was very proud of was the quite apparent and speedy social mobility in the country, which took place in a single generation.
Maybe, among the lecturers at this dialogue, there are those from moderate and low income families, smallholders and the lower rung of the civil service, but are now holding much higher posts,” he said.
Najib said the situation was caused by the existing opportunities in social mobility and loans and scholarships which enabled the people to further their studies locally and abroad.
“I hope the process will continue and I am always very proud to hear that someone from a poor family in the village or town has become successful due to the education system we fought for all these while,” he said.
The Prime Minister said numerous facilities were provided in education including high subsidies of up to 90 per cent.
“The prices of other items have gone up…teh tarik, roti canai… but fees for higher education have never been raised by the government until today, although costs are increasing,” he said.
Other than scholarships, the government provided loans through the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) and the contribution of PTPTN was huge in helping all levels of society gain access to higher education, he said.
“Unfortunately, lately, PTPTN has become a controversy although its contributions cannot be denied,” he said.
Rationally, Najib said, there was no free education in the world, and, as such, it was the duty of those who had taken loans to make repayments.
He said the two principles must be combined and all policies implemented by the government must take into account social justice, to make Malaysia an excellent nation.
“They are also formulated with full research, having principles and planning and not done recklessly, as the government does not want to just sow promises without generating success,” he said.