JOHOR BARU - Budding artistes can look forward to blooming into great talents, with more arts schools in the works over the next few years.
One school is already up and running here while two more, in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching, are expected to open their doors by 2016.
Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Madinah Mohamad said the ministry planned to increase the number of arts schools as an alternative to schools providing formal education and to encourage youngsters to express themselves through art.
"Arts schools have become the preferred choice of many students, with an increasing number of applications each year.
"However, entering an arts school is not easy as it has stringent conditions. Students have to go through an interview, audition and pass a test before they are accepted," she told reporters after a ceremony to hand over the keys to the new RM61mil (S$23 million) Sekolah Seni Johor Baru building at Bandar Seri Alam here yesterday. He said there were 350 students at the school.
Dr Madinah said that with the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB), the Government aims to make the country's education system one of the best in the world by 2025.
"The ministry believes with arts schools in the country, we will be able to inspire our future generation to follow in the footsteps of Malaysia's prominent arts figures, such as P. Ramlee and Hamzah Dolmat," she said. Dr Madinah said the ministry was also looking at Sabah, where there was keen interest for an arts school.
On the Kuala Lumpur arts school that is being built at Jalan Pasar, she said students there were temporarily being placed at a secondary school in Shah Alam.