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Date: Saturday 9th May 2015

Time: 10am to 12pm

Venue: Institut Integrity Malaysia,Persiaran Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, Bukit Tunku, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

While this stands true, its reverse is also true – that to keep a population ignorant would be to keep change and progress stagnant. This is why countries, including Malaysia, strive for at least universal primary education and others such as Singapore have made primary and secondary education compulsory. In this attempt to make education accessible for all many governments have made education free. However, a closer look at the quality of education and student outcomes begs the question: what are the prices we are paying for a free education?

Malaysian students do not rank on par with other developing countries in international tests such as TIMMS and PISA.  A lack of English proficiency and critical thinking skills continue to prove to be major hurdles when fresh graduates seek employment. Recently, even our Minister of Education expressed his bafflement at the poor rankings even though billions are being pumped into the education system annually. Yet, the Ministry of Education continues to maintain the same policies and continues to pump even more money into the system via other agencies. As citizens, we continue to believe that it is the duty of the government to finance and provide free education despite the top-down one-size-fits-all policies in the past having failed our children.

What is the real price of a free public education? It means parents pay hundreds a month for tuition classes, others fork out thousands of ringgit each year for private education and yet others go further and send their children overseas in search of better educational opportunities for their children. Tough decisions even for those who can afford it – but what about those who can’t afford it? Well, they continue to “benefit” from a free public education.

Speakers include Wan Saiful Wan Jan, CEO of IDEAS,Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang,Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, CEO of PAGE Malaysia and Hasbullah Faudzi, Universiti Terbuka Anak Muda.

Come join us as we discuss questions such as is education really free? Who is paying the price for free education? What should the role of the government be in education? And many more.

Get your free tickets here ! See you there.

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