Description: Self-taught Rafie Abdul Ghani painted this portrait of his daughter, Lena, in the pinafore uniform when she was still schooling. The work was consigned to Rahime Harun’s AP Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. She must be in her 50s now, and if working, what did she take up, and how has school prepared her in life? In the early years, the only schools were the sekolah pondok (‘hut’ schools), madrasahs and other Islamic religious schools. Education was a privilege denied girls, especially those from poor families. But this changed when primary education was made compulsory, and Malay-medium national schools set up in the 1970s. And many women have excelled in their chosen fields like Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Tan Sri P.G. (Phaik Gan) Lim, Datuk Nicol David and Datuk Ambiga Sreeenivasan. In the early years, pre-school was unheard of, but now it has become virtually a must. Today, Malaysia boasts of some 43 universities, 31 private university colleges, 9 foreign university branch canvases, and 414 private colleges in Malaysia. In Pakistan, there was the case of Malala Yousafzai who was shot by Taliban militants for campaigning for female education in 2012. She eventually won the Nobel Peace Prize.Rafie Abdul Ghani was a building contractor before he turned to art, painting in oil, watercolours and even Chinese brush, but it is his watercolours that is more popular.
Dimensions: 46cm x 41cm
Artist or Maker: RAFIE ABDUL RAHMAN
Medium: Oil on canvas
Provenance: Private collection, Kuala Lumpur
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