: The Education Ministry (MOE) has been urged to review the selection of locations for Pusat Anak Permata Negara (PAPN) so that student enrollment is maximised according to the quota set.
According to the Auditor General's Report 2018 Series 3, out of 89 PAPNs nationwide, between 29 to 45 centres had failed to reach the enrollment quota in 2016 up to 2018.
"Among reasons for the failure to meet the quota were poor demand in the village areas, decreasing number of young families due to rural urban migration and lack of awareness on the importance of early childhood education," according to the report released today.
The report stated that as of Dec 31, 2018, the centres were only available at 77 or 34.7 percent of the 222 Parliamentary constituencies and 10 Parliamentary constituencies, among them Masjid Tanah, Rembau and Wangsa Maju had more than one centre
"It is found that the establishment of more than one PAPN in the same Parliamentary constituency could affect the achievement goals of the Permata Negara programme as it is not extended to target groups in other constituencies," according to the report.
According to the report PAPN had also not fully achieved its target in getting children from among households earning less than RM4,000, enrolled at the centre.
As such it was recommended that the MOE GENIUS Division study the mechanism to increase the Permata student intake from among the target group through more effective announcements and much wider publicity.
In addition, MOE was also urged to provide appropriate 'capacity building' training for educators, as well as to monitor on the effective implementation of the Permata Negara curriculum to ensure the quality of education.
"The MOE GENIUS should conduct a study on the achievement level of the Permata students as this programme has been implemented for more than 10 years," the report said.