STAKEHOLDERS: Parents also ensure education level is of a global standard
SERDANG: PARENTS, as stakeholders in education, should continue to be involved in their children's schooling and follow current developments in the country's education system.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this was to ensure the education level in Malaysia reached that of schools in developed nations.
He said parent-teacher associations could contribute to producing highly-qualified human capital in line with the national education philosophy.
"Merely expanding on access to education is not enough. It is more important to provide access to quality education that is capable of preparing the new generation for the future," said Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, in his speech at the PTA awards, held at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang.
He said serious attention must be given to aspects touching on the quality of teachers, quality of the school leadership, curriculum and assessment, students' ability to master several languages and post-secondary school opportunities for every student.
The other equally important aspects were the role of parents and community in education, effective use of resources and the capacity and capability of the national education delivery system.
"If all these aspects can be improved through a thorough education transformation process, the new generation will be better equipped for the future."
Muhyiddin said the public should not forget to create fairness or equality in education by ensuring that students from poor families or rural areas can also enjoy the quality of education.
"The government has made efforts to reduce the financial burden of parents. In the 2012 Budget, we have taken steps to abolish school fees, textbooks are given free to all students and various aid is available for those who need them.
"Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement. We hope that PTAs can assist, especially in preparing more comprehensive character-building programmes for students. I hope PTAs, together with the schools, work together to improve on the achievements of the school and children."
Meanwhile, Education director-general Datuk Seri Abd Ghafar Mahmud said PTAs were instrumental in creating a more cheerful learning environment in schools that was more conducive for learning, providing a channel for communication between the school and the community and helping to increase the school's financial sources.
"Aside from educators, many parents have taken up the role of being movers in education.
"In this partnership, I believe that 'it takes a village to raise a child' and I invite parents to continue working with us in continuing with the national education agenda."
In the primary school category, the Best PTA award went to SK (P) Methodist, Kuantan. In the secondary school category, the Best PTA award was won by SMK Seafield, Selangor. The PTAs received RM30,000, a trophy and a certificate of appreciation each.
The winner in the overall category was SMA Al-Ehya El-Karim, Malacca, taking home RM50,000, a trophy and a certificate of appreciation.
The National PTA Awards were introduced to give recognition and appreciation to all PTAs which have successfully and effectively managed their associations.