Issue of Tamil+Chinese Schools

Posted: September 9, 2007 in Freedom of Expression

I know this is truly a sensitive subject that is definitely going to cost more than whisper in terms of reactions but I will dwell into it anyway.Today I read a report on<“Malaysiakini”> that stated that an ex-judge has said to have called for that abolishment of vernacular Tamil schools that has cause quite a row. I can’t say that I disagree. Before anyone jumps out of their seats to bark at me let me explain myself. I do not why VC George the ex-judge said what he did but I do know why I have similar thoughts but mine doesn’t only apply to Tamil schools but Chinese schools.

Do correct me along the way if I get any facts wrong will ya? As far as I know, students who opt for Chinese or Tamil vernacular schools have to do an extra year when the join their other fellow schoolmates at high school level making them lose a year that’s why most of them are a year older than us. These students spend about a year in Peralihan learning, to my assumption its probably for them to get use to learning in a different language medium from Tamil or Chinese to Malay which I belief a year will not do much for them. But anyway, I see no point of a student learning in this language and then years down the line have to spend the last 5 years or so in high school learning something completely different.Yes, I did not go to a vernacular school so some might say how can I judge. Don’t get me wrong I’m just throwing an opinion out for people to think about as I feel its a crucial aspect in achieving our Bangsa Malaysia stand.

In the Bangsa Malaysia Gathering, I do recall then when someone did comment about doing away with this vernacular schools, there was quite a heated reactions with people defending this vernacular schools. My thinking is that it is impossible for us to achieve a one nation one people stand if our children grow up in one race-based environment for a large part of their education. That’s why when they move along to high school in Form 1 and 2, its obvious to see Chinese-educated camps, Indian-educated camps, and then you have the Malay camps and lastly the English-speaking camps which is also most often than not divided again by race. These children from vernacular schools then to stick together rather than mix along with everyone, so are the English-educated ones but my point basically is why can’t we have a public school whereby language courses are offered? Where Chinese, Tamil, Spanish, Japanese,French languages are offered to be taken as a subject by students regardless of their races from primary school itself? In my opinion the whole education systems need a revamp not just the Tamil or Chinese Schools.

But am I being naive by saying that it can be done within the vicinity of a school? I guess some might worry that these languages will become second-class, regarded as not as important as everything else thus creating a fear amongst them. But if it could work, whereby this languages are offered on a level as important as subjects like Maths and Science, where there are offered during school hours and included in the syllabus of the studies..why can’t it work? That way students will be able to learn their languages of choice and still be in the environment of other races. I guess its very simplistic to say such a thing but I do know that a lot more needs to be done before this is possible. Judging by the Ministers who over-see the happening of the Education ministry its a wonder that anything like this can happen.

If the country could provide for such an environment….wouldn’t it be possible? As I said earlier I myself am not happy with the way the education system is run whereby student learn stuff that are forced on to them. I do realize that certain subjects in an introductory level are necessary but students need to be given the flexibility of choosing the subjects that they would love to venture into later so when they do get a place in university or college they are not dumbfounded. This should start at high school itself from Form 1 or if possible earlier. Subjects need to be made more practical….There should be a place for those who loves the Sciences but enjoy dwelling in the Arts. So many things need to be revamped…But just to put a thought in your minds over the issues of Chinese and Tamil Schools……………there could be another way to keep it but not the way it is…

If you have any suggestion or comments please feel free to leave them..

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