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Thursday, November 30, 2023

YOURSAY | Politicians divide, not vernacular schools

YOURSAY | ‘Vernacular schools have existed even before Merdeka.’

Chinese vernacular school with over 50pct Malay pupils moves to urban area

Mano: Vernacular schools are a great punching bag for many who have myopic views and strange views of racism and religious extremism. Vernacular schools existed, much before Merdeka.

Great harmony among all of us existed from the 1960s until early 1980s. There were Chinese/ Indian parents who could not speak English but sent their children to English schools though there was a vernacular school at their doorstep. I am an example.

There were equally many Malay parents who sent their children to English schools though there was a national school at their doorstep. I had many such Malay primary and secondary classmates.

The rot in the national schools started once the politicians realised they could capitalise on race and religion. That is when the divisions were started, not because of vernacular schools.

National schools started showing increasing traits as though they were Islamic religious schools.

Non-Malay children have come home crying saying their teachers and classmates say derogatory remarks of other religions. The standard of education descended to deplorable levels.

Parents who could afford it started sending their children to international schools, private schools and some preferred homeschooling.

I know and have heard of so many very ordinary educated Malays who send their children to Chinese vernacular schools.

I also know and have heard of so many very ordinary educated Malays who put their children on YouTube English classes of foreign people who speak well.

I have personally heard the parents and children speak with an accent. They are very ordinary people, not from the breed of the super-rich who live a different lavish lifestyle.

Vijay47: Reading this article, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

The humorous part is, that I would not be surprised if PAS, Bersatu, Umno, and of course, PKR, protested that the only reason why the school was moved to a more urban locale was because the Chinese cannot accept the idea of a Chinese school having more Malay students than Chinese.

Thus, the shift is a plot to prevent a Malay majority in Chinese schools!

But on a more serious note, this is a wake-up call to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, for him to come out of his cocoon and self-induced comatose condition.

Face the hard facts, Mr Madani, and admit the painful truth. Our education system has reached such a deplorable level that even the rural Malays, who have all along been drilled into believing that non-Malays and especially the Chinese are their “mortal enemies”, now think it fit and necessary to jettison national school and instead, turn to more reliable fonts of learning, the Chinese schools.

So, what do you propose now, Anwar, more religious classes?

LimePanda2878: Amongst the Chinese today, 90 percent of them either send their children to Chinese vernacular schools or to private schools.

About 25 percent (maybe higher) of students in Chinese vernacular schools today are made up of non-Chinese too.

Parents, regardless of race are seeking quality education for their children. The Education Ministry should wake up from their slumber to understand why parents today are losing faith in national schools.

The ministry must look into real reforms. For starters, focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and not drum in hours of religious studies on our students.

Religious upbringing should be the responsibility of parents and the religious institution.

OMG!: The legal gang are now trying to shut down vernacular schools through the courts, saying these schools don't promote unity because they are mono-ethnic Chinese.

But this Chinese school, and of course many others, have a student population reflecting Malaysia.

So, their multiracial pupils get to mix in classrooms, on the playing field and in club activities. This debunks the argument of the anti-vernacular school crowd.

Ideally, we should follow Finland which leads the Pisa benchmarks in education. Finland schools must appoint language teachers if at least 15 students demand it.

Swedish-speaking students must learn Finnish and vice-versa. They do not practice language dominance there like we do.

Pink: Malay parents who do not speak Mandarin at home and yet send their children to Chinese schools are utterly naive. They believe that their children can be clever and more disciplined by going to Chinese schools.

But the children suffer by not knowing the difficult language and get no support at home. My sister enrolled three of her children in a Chinese school. They ended up not being good in both Chinese and Malay.

One of them got so frustrated that she played truant. All her children who went to national schools did better.

In fact, I could speak better Mandarin than them by taking it as an additional subject at my university.

It is a fallacy that you can be more successful by going to a good school. My niece refused to move to my small hometown to be with her old mother because she did not want her children to study in a small-town school.

But many of my classmates became professionals and many migrated to the US, UK, Australia and Canada, not to mention Singapore.

Many Chinese in Johor Bahru send their children to study in Singapore - spending hours travelling every day because Foon Yew School in Johor Bahru is not good enough for them.

In the end, it is not the school, but the children and the families are the main factors that determine their success.

Just A Malaysian: Politicians desire to force a monoracial and monoculture with religion so that they can control the fears and hopes of the community.

The new government could do well to drive the concept and strength in diversity. The Chinese school with over 50 percent Malay pupils is a positive trend, and the PM should be promoting it.

Don't just let DAP talk about it and use this opportunity to make it a national narrative.

The PM is so caught up in the PAS Malay Islamic dominance narrative and fighting an unwinnable battle. - Mkini

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