Orang Asli Essay
Orang Asli Children’s Rights to Education
“With education, you can open many doors”, Hasmah Abd Manaf, the Assistant Secretary of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (‘SUHAKAM”), began her presentation. She pleaded with the Orang Asli “to treat education as important as [their] lands”. She pointed out that although the government recognised its immense value in nation building, the system of education in the country was “too rigid”. Students had to be at school by 7:00am and if they turned up late, they would be fined or punished. This system did not help the Orang Asli students at all.
Dr Hasmah noted from Department of Orang Asli …show more content…
In reply, Dr Roziah Abdullah, the Principal Assistant Director of Sector of Primary Schools Management in the Ministry of Education, stated that the Malaysian education system was of a much higher standard than that of Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. She categorically refuted allegations that the education system was too rigid because Orang Asli students were given flexibility of up to 2 years for the minimum age for compulsory education, which was normally 6 years old. In fact her ministry had been in regular consultations with international organisations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (“UNESCO”) to find ways and means to enhance the quality of education of all Malaysians. She stressed that all sectors of the Malaysian community should get involved in this effort.
Contrary to Dr Hasmah’s claims, Dr Abdullah believes that the best students for teacher training courses in particular, came from the Orang Asli community and not from privileged background in the urban areas.
On the contrary, Arom a/l Asir, the Orang Asli representative of Kampung Pahong, Gua Musang, in his passionate presentation, disagreed with Dr Roziah and confirmed Dr Hasmah’s statements. Due to the fact that Friday was a public holiday in Kelantan, the teachers only taught