Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Schoolkids and politics

I came across this article from NST and I’ll have to say I’m stumped that our Education Ministry is even actually considering such a plan. One would have thought that they should instead concentrate on improving the education standards in our schools (which is what they are supposed to do!) instead of organizing such protests involving schoolchildren to gain political mileage. For one thing, I firmly believe that politics and/or religion have no place in education and should never be mixed. What kind of morals are we instilling in our children when our Education Ministry is encouraging our children to take to the streets in protest? More so when application for protests are usually rejected and deemed illegal assemblies anyway. So on one hand we will be telling our children to go protest and on the other hand we tell them it will also be illegal. Such contrasts!

Honestly, I resent the fact that our children are being used in such a blatant manner for political mileage. Instead of wasting manpower, time and money in such a hare-brained plan, I think it would do more good for the ministry to simply focus on ensuring that our schools churn out better educated students with common sense. God knows we will need such leaders in future.

Gaza Under Siege: Ministry plans huge protest by schoolkids
By Regina Lee

PUTRAJAYA: Nearly all schoolchildren in the country will be mobilised to protest against the Gaza offensive by Israeli forces. Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said about five million pupils and 360,765 teachers from more than 10,000 schools would be involved.
“This is to create a wave of pressure for the Israelis to stop their violence and oppression of Palestinian civilians.”
He said the ministry would be working with the Information, Foreign, and Youth and Sports Ministries, as well as Peace Malaysia, to expand the campaign to a mega scale.
“When we protested against the US invasion in Iraq, we managed to get 200,000 people into Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil.
“We are confident that youth leaders from political parties, including those in Pakatan Rakyat will join us in this fight against the Zionist regime,” he said after his ministry’s New Year gathering at Putrajaya International Convention Centre here yesterday.
Hishammuddin said the directive was passed in the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Asked on the danger of exposing children to such atrocities, the minister said: “When they grow up, they will have to face global issue like peace, environment and the economic crisis.”
He said he would be using the Unesco platform, of which he is an executive board member, to voice out Malaysia’s concern over the Gaza crisis.

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