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Published: Sunday May 12, 2013 MYT 6:51:00 PM

Single-stream schools will unify nation, say academicians

KUALA LUMPUR: Academicians have called for vernacular schools in the country to be changed to single stream schools to strengthen national unity.

They said problems of racial unity were caused from an inconsistent schooling system, with the existence of schools of various streams.

Former Universiti Technologi Mara pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad said vernacular schools developed at a faster pace and that only 10% of non-Malays studied in national schools.

"The rest are in vernacular schools. It is clear that racism is expanding widely, this continues with private secondary schools and national-type secondary schools," he said on Sunday.

He said the divide-and-rule concept was implemented by the British, and education now "is dividing".

"Nowadays, if said in this manner, it will be regarded as an accusation.

"But if we still allow such schools, don't ever hope to talk about unity, it will only be lip service," he said.

A more strident tone was used by former Appeals Court judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah who wanted national-type schools (SJKs) to be done away with because they were not recognised under the constitution.

"SJKs only disunite the people. We should now have government primary schools, government secondary schools. The existing SJKs should be changed to government schools.

"Every student studies in the same classroom, eats at the same canteen, plays in the same court. Then we can strengthen national integration," he said.

This should be supported by the whole Malaysian society, he said, regarding those who disagreed with a single stream school as anti-unity. - Bernama

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