Chinese schools increasingly multiracial, says group


Compiled by RAHIMY RAHIM, C. ARUNO and R. ARAVINTHAN

CHINESE vernacular schools have become increasingly popular across the different races, with nearly one-fifth of all pupils in 2020 being non-Chinese based on statistics released by the Education Ministry, Sin Chew Daily reported.

According to the educationist group United Chinese School Committees’ Association (Jiao Zong), non-Chinese pupils make up 19.87% of the student population, an increase from 11.84% in 2010.

“This shows that non-Chinese parents are sending more of their children to Chinese vernacular schools, proving that these are multiracial schools.

“Pupils will be able to learn together with other races in a happy setting, ” the group said in a statement.

However, the total number of pupils at Chinese vernacular schools has fallen by 15.92% in the last decade.

Statistics from the ministry in February showed that student enrolment totalled 507,177 as opposed to 603,208 in 2010.

Jiao Zong said this was a result of falling birth rates among the Chinese in Malaysia.

“Even so, our most conservative estimates show that more than 90% of Chinese families still support sending their children to Chinese vernacular schools.

“This reflects the Chinese community’s emphasis on preserving mother-tongue education, ” it said.

The group also pointed out that 90% of all pupils were enrolled in schools in the city, or 67.5% (877) of the total Chinese vernacular schools, while the rest were scattered across rural schools, or 32.5% (422) of the total.

It added that the Chinese community will need to keep close tabs on this development in ensuring that Chinese vernacular schools continue to thrive.

The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.

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