Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Unit to keep track of Tamil schools

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government will set up a special unit under the Education Ministry to monitor the development of Tamil schools as well as their problems.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the unit would identify the schools to be converted into fully-assisted schools as well as consolidate those which had an enrolment of less than 50 pupils.

“For these schools which will be consolidated, we will propose that dormitories and other facilities be built for the students.

“For schools which have too many students, cabins will be built as additional classrooms for them,” he told reporters after chairing a Cabinet committee meeting on social problems facing Indians at the Parliament building here yesterday.

Najib said the committee also proposed that an institute set up by MIC – the Asian Institute for Medicine, Science and Technology – be re-categorised as one of the five institutes to receive aid from the Government as a measure to boost the intake of Indian students into critical sectors like medicine and engineering.

The institute, he added, would then sponsor Indian students to pursue courses in critical areas in institutions of higher learning.

Other matters raised during the meeting included more taxi and bus permits for Indian companies, better business opportunities and easier loans for entrepreneurs from that community, and more vocational training places for its youths.

“We would also like to see more opportunities for Indians in the development of vendor programmes with companies like Proton and Petronas.

“The committee also notes the lack of Indians in the civil service. We will raise this matter with the Public Service Department,” said Najib.

Najib said the committee would also discuss with Permodalan Nasional ways to increase the Indian hold on equity in the Malaysian market.

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