By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH
TANGKAK: Higher educational opportunities provided by the Government have helped rural students enter universities, said Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman.
He said the move helped many from the rural areas to gain greater knowledge, which later helped them to improve their living standards.
Special consideration had to be given for such students to gain places in the universities as most rural schools lacked many facilities enjoyed by schools in cities and towns.
He said the knowledge levels among students in rural areas too were limited compared to those who lived in urban areas.
“If the Government decides to go on merit and equality in selecting students for higher learning, many rural students will not make it.
“This will curb those in the rural areas from gaining better education and finding good jobs to improve their lives, he said when opening a new school building for SK Bukit Banjar near here yesterday.
Abdul Ghani said the Government was committed in developing the nation and improving the living standards of the rural people.
He said in the early days the Government set up Felda schemes to provide poor people with land and after several years, many had become landowners.
Today, he added, those poor people were no longer poor and contributed to the economic growth of the country.
Abdul Ghani, who was accompanied by Ledang MP Hamim Samuri, said one example was SK Bukit Banjar, which lacked many modern facilities.
“This school was built in 1952 by the villagers using gelam timber and the roof from the sago leaves before it was rebuilt and became a semi-permanent building in 1980s.
“Although it lacked many facilities, some of the students managed to succeed in life after the Government gave them special consideration to enter the universities,” he said.
SOURCE: THE STAR JULY 23, 2011