Vernacular education not a hindrance to national integration, says MCA


PETALING JAYA: The existence of vernacular schools and the divide between race groups cannot be linked as education and racial polarisation are two distinct matters, says MCA.

Here is MCA International Communication and Diplomacy Bureau deputy chairman Neow Choo Seong's statement in full:

Accusations that vernacular schools cause racial separations are grossly inaccurate despite growing racial, ideological and cultural gulfs in Malaysia.

It is an injustice to link the existence of vernacular schools with the chasm between race groups as education and racial polarisation are two distinct matters.

If the vernacular education system is alleged to be the root of racial discord, how then have we co-existed in harmony for so long? Our nation's multi-stream education system existed even before Independence but we are still able to live in harmony.

The permeation of racial issues over the past 10 to 15 years are the result of political games and not the education system.

Ethnic issues have emerged largely due to the political chess brought on by irresponsible politicians. If society intends to oppose vernacular schools, will this resolve the problem? Politicians will still play up racial issues and engage in fear-mongering.

Improving education standards

The Education Ministry needs to evaluate the root causes of racial polarisation before vernacular schools are unjustly blamed. It needs to engage and listen to all stakeholders who really understand and care for our education system.

If the quality of education is the main issue, the ministry needs to first revive and improve the education system to reinstate confidence among parents to send their children to national schools.

If we yearn to improve the quality of education, we need to consider proper measures that will help improve our education system and reduce the burden on our educators. These would involve policies which have no ties to race or politics.

Racial divisiveness in society should not be blamed on the school system, but society is urged to be wary of politicians who race-bait and play the race card to score political mileage at the expense of national unity. It will take the concerted efforts of all citizens to put an end to fear mongering and religious bigotry.

Teachers are already saddled with all types of administrative work which sideline their main duties as educators. Improving the education system and safeguarding the welfare of teachers are among efforts which can boost the quality of our national education system.

NEOW CHOO SEONG

MCA International Communication and Diplomacy Bureau deputy chairman

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vernacular schools , education , MCA

   

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