Najib: Let allocations go directly to Tamil schools

KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the annual allocation to upgrade the infrastructure of Tamil schools to be channelled directly to the schools' management boards in order to speed things up.

Expressing unhappiness at the slow rate at which the funds are being disbursed and spent, the Prime Minister said he did not want to see any more time wasted in appointing suitable contractors to carry out the work.

"I'm not happy with the rate and speed of the implementation. Please correct this.

"I don't know whose responsibility this is, but my responsibility as the Finance Minister is to provide the funds. I suggest that the funds are handed over directly to the schools' management boards if it is possible," he said when launching the Action Plan for The Future of Tamil Schools event here yesterday.

The Prime Minister said a total of RM560mil ($213 million) had been distributed to the schools between 2009 and 2013 to upgrade their facilities and infrastructure.

"Whoever can do it in the most cost-effective way, let them do it. Don't waste anymore time," he said.

The Prime Minister said he hoped that the pass rate for Bahasa Malaysia at Tamil schools which is currently 70 per cent can be raised further.

He complimented the schools for achieving a 90 per cent pass rate for science and mathematics and said he was pleased with the achievements recorded by the Tamil schools in recent years.

"Last year, the difference between the National Average Grade (GPN) of Tamil schools and national schools was just 0.04 points. This is a remarkable achievement."

Najib said all 523 Tamil schools will have their own pre-schools by 2020 with 170 set up so far.

He said the Government also aimed to raise the percentage of teachers with degrees at Tamil schools from 45 per cent at present to 100 per cent in 2020.

MIC deputy president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam who was also present, said seven new schools would be added to the existing 523 Tamil schools and that construction work would be completed in two-and-a-half years.