Education policy under UMNO@BN in a total mess and mismanaged

I support the views expressed by Bar Council’s Andrew Khoo with regards to the legality in freezing PTPTN loans for students at Unisel. The decision by the Higher Education Minister is political. The right to education is a fundamental human right. Every individual, irrespective of race, gender, nationality, ethnic or social origin, religion or political preference, age or disability, is entitled to free elementary education.
This right is explicitly stated in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR ), adopted in 1948: “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall Be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. …” (Article 26)
Ensuring access to education is a precondition for full realisation of the right to education. Without access, it is not possible to guarantee the right to education. The right to education is a fundamental entitlement to education, a right that is recognised as a human right.
According to the international Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the right to education includes the right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all, in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education, ideally by the progressive introduction of free higher education.
The right to education also includes a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who have not completed primary education. In addition to these access to education provisions, the right to education encompasses the obligation to rule out discrimination at all levels of the education system, to set minimum standards and to improve the quality of education. Now, as to whether right to education is guaranteed to Malaysians under the Malaysian Constitution:
“Without prejudice to the generality of Article 8, there shall be no discrimination against any citizen on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth – (a)  in the administration of any educational institution maintained by a public authority, and, in particular the admission of pupils or students or the payment of fees; or (b) in providing out of the funds of a public authority financial aid for the maintenance or education of pupils or students in any educational institution (whether or not maintained by a public authority and whether within or outside the Federation). ” (Article 12)
Therefore, right to education is guaranteed to Malaysians under the constitution. Now, the question is money to pursue higher level of education. The state is obliged to ensure that financial resources are made accessible and available to all in their pursuit to advance learning. Otherwise it will limit the access to the education only to the richer section of the people. Poorer persons with better merit cannot get admission due to inability to pay money and as a consequence citizen’s right to education gets denied.
Lim Mun Fah’s article (June 6, 2012 Sin Chew Daily) and many other opinions expressed by readers regarding the eroding and declining standard of education well establishes one fact, our education policy is in a total mess and mismanaged.
The government has seriously flawed in bringing about real changes to the education system and I shudder to think what will happen to the future of our children if the current situation is allowed to continue. One thing is for sure, nothing will change unless we as citizens collectively do something to bring about changes.

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