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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Malaysia's Education System Proved To Be Among World's Best," Says Najib. Is This Really True?

Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein's election to Unesco's executive board with the highest number of votes proves that Malaysia's education system is among the world's best. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said this to Malaysian journalists at the end of his four-day visit to France before leaving for home via London.

He said Hishammuddin was the right candidate for the seat and his election lifted the country's image. It would also enable Malaysia to give greater contributions to the development of education system elsewhere, he said.

"I am very proud with this achievement. It proves that we have good products that have been recognised at the Unesco-level and the world," he said.

Malaysia was elected to Unesco's executive board after receiving 147 votes in the Asia-Pacific group at the organisation's 34th general conference here yesterday. Five other countries in the group elected were South Korea (139 votes), the Philippines (137), Sri Lanka (130), Mongolia (130) and Pakistan (106), out of nine contesting countries.

Hishammuddin was an early favourite among Unesco member countries now numbering 193.

Najib said that through Malaysia's election, the country would be able export the "winning formula" of its education system to other countries. He also expressed confidence in Hishammuddin and said that the education minister would be able to cooperate with his Unesco colleagues and uplift the country's image further throughout his 2008-2011 term.

Asked on urgent issues that need to be dealt with by Unesco, Najib said: "Ensuring education for all". "I see this as the most crucial because there are countries where only 30 per cent of their children go to school. If that is the case, the countries will face a bleak future and many serious problems," he said.

Najib said the successful Unesco bid capped a series of sterling achievements by Malaysia in a matter of days.

It started with the return of the country's first spaceman, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, from the International Space Station to earth on Sunday followed by the launch of Malaysia's first submarine in Cherbourg, France, on Tuesday.

"Praise be to God, Malaysia achieved three big feats in a short period of time," he said. (Bernama)

***** Oh boy! That's a whole load of hype with a capital 'H'. What has Hishammuddin's election success got to do with our education system? At best it shows that we have very 'generous' lobbying skills. And Najib wants to export the "winning formula" of our education system to other countries! Does this mean that the minorities of some foreign lands are going to get the short end of the stick as is happening here?

Perhaps in the excitement of seeing his cousin winning the Unesco bid, the DPM got overwhelmed and spoke without thinking? No country should condemn half their citizens to fight for morsels while the other half enjoy the fruits of everyone's hard work. No other nation should impose such unfair and unjust rules which allow the undeserving to leisurely walk into their varsities while the straight-A achievers watch from the sidelines empty-handed.

To Unesco members, go ahead and elect our education ministers for life terms at Unesco if you wish, but please don't ever import or copy our system of educational apartheid. Your citizens deserve better.

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