The Tamil school children who scored 7As in the UPSR exam – 817 of them, are part of the cream in the country. These children need to be nurtured and developed. They are the future leaders of this country. They should be nurtured and developed as part of the mainstream policy of development of Human Potential in the country. Ethnicity should not be a criteria for this.
The Government currently has the following programs for talented children and this information is taken from reports in the Utusan Malaysia (UM) newspaper.
1. MARA Junior Science Colleges (MRSM) - there are 42 such schools throughout the country. Their intake is 5,100 per year. (Source UM – 19th Nov 2008 page 10.)
2. Fully residential schools throughout the country – there are 54 such schools with an annual intake of 6,000.(Source UM 8/12/08 page 12)
3. Kolej Yayasan Saad – located in Air Keroh in Malaka, it selects 60 best students for Form One each year.(Source UM 19/11/08 page 10)
4. State Government run Residential schools – do not have student intake numbers for these schools. .(Source UM 19/11/08 page 10)
5. Felda Asrama schools – do not have student intake numbers for these schools. ( Source UM 24/12/08 pg 24)
There are well over 11,000 places available for talented children. Since these Tamil school children have to move schools to other Secondary schools, and since they deserve to be nurtured in special schools, all these 817 children must to be offered places in these special residential schools. In the past years we understand only a very small portion of these talented school children are offered places in MRSMs.
Part of the problem we are sure is the reluctance with which these places are offered. Let me give you a concrete example of what I mean by reluctance. The Minister or the Prime Minister will come out in the media and say very proudly that 10% (a paltry number anyway) of the places in the MRSMs have been allocated to non-bumis. Then when the parents of deserving children go up to the local Mara offices and ask for the application forms, they are turned down saying that there are no such forms or that the forms have run out or some such thing so as to subvert their attempt. This derives from the racist practices of the UMNO government administration .
Another problem is that parents are wary that their children may not get proper religious education or proper food or proper disciplinary attention in these schools. We must get all these children into the special schools, so as to put in the necessary attention to bring out their full potential. It therefore becomes incumbent on the Government to address these concerns. These concerns, instead should not be used as reasons to justify the low intake of non –bumi children into these special schools.
In summary, what we are saying is that all these 817 Tamil School children who scored 7As must be offered places in MRSMs and the Ministry of Education Residential schools for high performing children. Further the take up rate of these offers too have to be increased by allaying th concerns of the parents.
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