Press Statement By Abdul Aziz:
DAP Batu Kitang Abdul Aziz Isa criticized the proposal made by the Community Development Department (“KEMAS”) to set up an ‘elite’ tabika (“kindergarten”) as it may cause a greater divide in the community.
On 29 September 2020, KEMAS had revealed plans to set up an ‘elite’ tabika, with its proposal currently being reviewed by the Rural Development Ministry before being brought to the Cabinet meeting for further evaluation. Abdul Aziz Isa questioned the federal government for being unfair in formulating its early childhood education policy for the rural children.
If it is true that the federal government led by Bersatu is fair for all, then it should reject the ridiculous proposal which recently received brickbats from the public. If the proposal to set up the ‘elite’ tabika receives a nod from the Cabinet, it shows that the federal government has failed in creating a fair, just and equal society and failed to provide equal access to education at very early stage of life among the rural children in this country. Giving a nod to such a
discriminatory proposal is akin to embracing capitalistic system which creates two classes of society – proletariat and bourgeoisie.
As a developing nation, Malaysia should be moving towards the democratization of early childhood education which can provide equality to quality education. According to the World Health Organization (“WHO”), early childhood education or early child development (“ECD”) is very important because it is a critical basis in one’s development and success. Strategic insights in early childhood education need to emphasize the quality of a constructive environment. This includes the approach to life and education involving parents, guardians, families and thecommunity.
The WHO is of the view that the government and civil society should work with families to provide all children with equal access to quality and constructive environment. What is the purpose of setting up ‘elite’ tabika if it does not provide all children with equal access to quality and constructive environment? Thus, the elite tabika proposed by KEMAS is contrary to this aspiration in early childhood education.
Under the previous Pakatan Harapan (“PH”) administration, the democratization aspirations of early childhood education have been pioneered before with plans to incorporate early childhood education institutions through the establishment of a special committee. This plan was informed in the Dewan Rakyat in November 2018 by the previous Women, Family and Community Development Ministry led by both Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Hannah Yeoh Tseow Suan. The then PH Cabinet has approved the formation of this special committee which will play a role to jointly regulate the establishment and operation of early educational institutions for children in Malaysia.
Therefore, instead of widening the gap among children, the PN led federal government should be striving to improve the quality of early childhood education and care. The name of the ”elite” kindergarten itself is discriminatory in nature. The proposal of this elite kindergarten is ad hoc, hasty and not a comprehensive solution for early childhood education and care. If the new leadership under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry does not play a key role in discussing such an important matter, it will create a larger gap among rural children.
As such, Abdul Aziz Isa urge the federal government to withdraw its plan to set up ‘elite’ tabika for the sake of unity and equal society among rural children.
On the other hand, Abdul Aziz Isa was saying this when he handed over 1,000 pieces of 3-ply face masks to four kindergartens under Batu Kitang state constituency.
The 3-ply face masks were handed over to National Unity and National Integration Officer Rose Jonathan Garau (representing Tabika Perpaduan Kpg Haji Baki), Rosema Lohem (representing Tabika Perpaduan Kpg Bumbok), Stephanie (representing Tabika KEMAS Kpg Tematu) and Tapeng Kinot (representing Tabika Perpaduan Kpg Semeba).
The distribution of 1,000 pieces of 3-ply face masks is one of the initiatives by DAP Batu Kitang in an effort to help the Ministry of Health Malaysia (“MOH”) dealing with the spread of the Covid- 19 pandemic. It is also to ensure that the supply of 3-ply face masks in these kindergartens are adequate.
DAP Batu Kitang and Stampin Member of Parliament Service Center will continue their best to provide assistance to the community under Batu Kitang state constituency.
2 OCTOBER 2020
ABDUL AZIZ ISA
Special Assistant to YB Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Batu Kitang Branch Chairman