Reasons why Tamil and Chinese students go to vernacular schools
The UMNO MPs and senators think that Tamil and Chinese schools are the root cause for racial disunity in this country. They always argue and blame in parliament that Indian and Chinese parents are not concerned about national language and unity. Many non Malay MPs and community leaders have spoken and written about this issue many times. But these UMNO leaders who are like the frog in the well which has never seen the sea, just cannot understand. The Chinese and Indian parents send their children to Tamil/ Chinese school because they are worried that the quality of teaching and learning in national schools is not comparable with that of the Tamil/Chinese schools. Not only the Chinese and Indian parents are concerned about this but there are also some Malay parents who feel the same. 70000 Malay students study in Chinese schools. There are lot of elite Malay students who study in international and private national schools. There are also Malay parents who have initiated organised campaign for bilingual schooling system. It shows that all is not too well in national schools.
The teaching and learning in Tamil and Chinese schools encourages and promotes the students to learn mathematics and science. They are given a lot of homework and school work. The teachers in these schools are concerned about the welfare and performance of their students and the Indian and Chinese parents and also some Malay parents feel from their experience that the environment in the national school is not comparable with that of the Tamil and Chinese schools. What are the actions being taken to increase the number of non Malay students in national school? We can take one product as an example, if the product is good for sure it can attract a lot of customers. If the customers don’t come, we must re-examine and improve our product and not find fault with customers. That is the way we can succeed.
In addition, from the parent’s experience, national schools are not serious about teaching POL. Usually in national schools, POL is taught after school session or on Saturday. This shows that the national schools are not serious about the teaching of Tamil and Chinese language and the parents are worried that if they send their children to national schools, their mother tongue is lost. In Singapore, there’s no Tamil/Chinese school. But the students in that country can speak and write their mother tongue well. This is because their national school takes this task seriously and makes the learning of vernacular language compulsory to all students in their national schools. The government has proven that it is serious about the learning of vernacular language in the national schools. Therefore, no one request for Tamil/Chinese school. But in Malaysia, the parents of Indian and Chinese students do not trust the government because for the last 50 years, they have not shown any sincere effort in teach vernacular language in national schools. I ask the Minister of Education, are there any plans to improve the teaching of vernacular in national school?
Moreover, the national schools looks like religious schools. This is also one of the reasons why Indian and Chinese parents refuse to send their children to study in national schools. I call upon the Minister of Education to address this suspicion and doubt of Malay, Chinese, and Indian parents and reveal the actions to be taken to improve the quality of teaching and learning in national school to be better than that of the Chinese and Tamil schools. The following activities in national schools drive away non Malay children from national school.
- While reciting prays in morning assembly the HM should remind the non Muslim students to pray to their own God. Do not ignore them. Do unto others what you want others to do to you.
- There are lot of signboards written in Jawi surrounding the school, especially in the rural area. Does the HM expect the non Malay children to read these signboards?
- There are a lot of prayers – when the Muslims pray, remind the non Muslims to prayer to their own God. Do not ignore. The teachers treat them as though they do not exist in the school.
- The teachers entering classes only acknowledge and greet the Muslim students and straight away start teaching without greeting the non Muslim students, they don’t exist in the class.
- During festival or religious celebration – there are only programs for Muslims but don’t have any class or programs for non Muslims students. They waste the whole day doing nothing but lazing around.
- When quoting or showing examples, the teachers just quote from Muslim scripts or Islamic books but do not even mention about the non Muslim leaders. The contributions of non Muslim leaders in the field of politics, social, science, and so on are ignored. May be the teachers don’t know. But they should be aware of this if they want the Indian and Chinese parents to send their children to national schools.
- During the JQAf – the non Muslim students go to QI class and they are allowed to do their own work because the teachers don’t know what the syllabus in QI entails.
- Name tags of the teachers are also in Jawi. How can the non Muslim students read Jawi?
- Canteen – there are non Muslim students who don’t eat beef or are vegetarian. There are no tags that indicate what kind of meat. Not bothered about the sensitivity of other races.
10. The numbers of non Muslim teachers are very minimal in the national schools. The national schools are short of capable teachers who can lead the Malaysian students to the real 1Malaysia.
With all the short comings in national schools and its management the UMNO leaders are blaming others for not sending students.