In the right hands, schools can foster unity


THE Malaysian Family concept initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has laid a foundation on which we can foster camaraderie among Malaysians.

While the ingredients for unity can be found at home, in the family, this feeling of togetherness can also be further reinforced in the schools. Schools can teach lasting understanding that encompasses everyone regardless of colour, race, religion, culture or social status.

I believe that school heads can play a role in nation-building by instituting practices that reinforce greater tolerance. The heads, like managers or coaches of a sports team, can make all the difference in producing a winning team. I am a firm believer that the most important person who can influence any school positively is the headmaster, with the help of his or her teachers.

I recall that many of the principals in the 1960s and 1970s in the secondary schools in the Klang Valley were sourced from the premier schools at that time, such as Victoria Institution (VI). VI and other premier schools, like St Johns among others, were training grounds for future principals. And it worked very well then.

Perhaps the Education Ministry should revisit this practice to bring back past successes in uniting Malaysians and empowering education.

Another point: I feel that the teaching profession is the “mother of all professions” so I propose that teachers be allowed to use the title “Tr”, just as doctors bear the title “Dr” and engineers use “Ir”. This would give rightful recognition to the great contributions of teachers.

MICHAEL S. ANTHONY , Educator Shah Alam

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