KUALA KRAI, 19 June 2009: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government will give priority to narrowing the rural-urban education gap in the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).
Muhyiddin, who is education minister, said the government has always been striving to create a balanced development between the rural and urban areas, especially in terms of education, as this was the key to the people’s progress.
Among steps taken by the government was to provide rural schools with infrastructure similar to those available in urban schools, he said.
“We want a balanced development so that our children can have equal access to quality education and facilities,” he said at a meeting with educators at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Sok here today.
Also present were Kelantan Umno chief Datuk Mustapa Mohamed, who is international trade and industry minister; Kelantan Umno deputy chief and Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussein; Education Director-General Datuk
Alimuddin Md Dom; and Kuala Krai Umno leaders.
Muhyiddin said the ministry was now actively training teachers to be posted in rural areas.
On the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English, he said the government was open to views of the people.
“At the same time, they should also be guided because our decision will have a huge bearing on the future of our children,” he said.
Kelantan Education Director Mohd Ghazali Abdul Rahman said in his speech that the government allocated RM1.62 billion for the education sector in Kelantan last year.
“We already received RM1.24 billion for the first half of this year. We will receive another 30% by the middle of this year. The amount is higher this year due to the increase in the number of teachers,” he said.
Ghazali said the government had also allocated RM2.2 million and RM4.8 million to provide assistance to poor students in secondary and primary schools respectively. — Bernama