additional language studies compulsory: DAP
4:10pm Sun Apr 7th, 2002
party DAP has commended the government’s move to offer Mandarin,
Tamil and Arabic languages as options for primary school pupils
as “a step in the right direction”.
However, the party’s national public bureau secretary Gobind
Singh Deo said the authorities should consider making it compulsory
for pupils to study an additional language to ensure Malaysians
are bilingual or multilingual.
an option alone, there will be no motivation, as primary school
students do not realise the significance of an additional
language at such ages,” said Gobind, in a press statement
it is made compulsory, then results will show,” he added.
urged the Education Ministry to include subjects such as literature
in various languages to encourage language proficiency among
youth and generate greater “greater minds and passion” for
Friday, Singapore’s Straits Times reported that Malaysia’s
national schools are offering Mandarin classes as a move to
attract Chinese and other non-Malay Malaysians to government
schools in order to strengthen national integration.
the latest plan, Chinese, Arabic and Tamil language classes
will be introduced into the national school syllabus, as opposed
to Pupils' Own Language (POL) classes that were conducted
previously outside school hours.
news report stated that an estimated nine out of 10 Chinese
Malaysian school-going children now opt for government-aided
Chinese schools with Chinese as the medium of instruction.
Education Minister Hon Choon Kim announced the new plans and
gave an assurance to Chinese schools that their existence
will not be threatened.
plan was meant to upgrade the image of national schools due
to a recent government survey that found that only 2.1 percent
of students in national schools are Chinese Malaysians while
only 4.3 percent are Indian Malaysians.
survey was conducted following allegations that some national
schools were practising racial segregation. The government
has dismissed the claims as “baseless” based on the results
of the survey which in actuality stated the “evidence was
schools take off
despite protest from Chinese educationists, Education Minister
Musa Mohamad announced yesterday that the controversial Vision
School project was set to take off in Subang Jaya, Selangor
and Pundut in Perak, in June.
would be on a voluntary basis and the government is currently
reaching out to pupils.
at promoting racial integration, each vision school is comprised
of a Chinese, Tamil and national-type primary school, with
their pupils sharing facilities like the library, canteen
and playing field.
educationists believe that the plan is another step to eventually
abolish vernacular schools, which are part of Malaysia's education
assurances from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad that the
government has no plans to close down Chinese schools, suspicion
remains of the government’s intentions.
groups have even taken their cause to recent by-election campaigns
all over the country.