Pushing for a Single Stream Education System: Threatening Vernacular Schools. And the excuse? Integration.

The idea of a single stream, first mooted by Professor Emeritus Khoo Kay Kim in 2009 has been debated for years. Single-stream schools ― either in the Malay or English language ― are seen by their proponents as a way to integrate Malaysians, but the proposal faces opposition from proponents of vernacular schools, creating a divide in the community.

http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/najib-single-stream-schools-political-landmine

They keep demanding the shut down of Chinese and Tamil Primary Schools!

4 July 2017

Are ‘Chinese schools’ really the cause of disunity?

By Ida Lim

KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 ― Local “Chinese schools” or schools that heavily feature Mandarin have been criticised as stumbling blocks to a united and harmonious Malaysia, but is that really true?

Datuk Vincent Lau, chairman of the leading Chinese education group United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong), disagrees that vernacular schools or schools that teach in the students’ mother tongue are an obstacle to national unity.

“We don’t think that Malaysia should insist or go for single-stream education,” he told Malay Mail Online recently, arguing that such a move would not necessarily achieve racial harmony and that the advantages of allowing vernacular schools to co-exist with Bahasa Malaysia-medium national schools far outweigh the disadvantages.

Language concerns

While there has always been a strong push for the adoption of Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction in all schools for the sake of unity, detractors of vernacular schools have further claimed that their very existence perpetuates the segregation of Malaysians according to ethnic and language silos.

While acknowledging that some graduates of Chinese independent high schools and national-type primary schools (SJKC) may have a weaker command of English and Bahasa Malaysia, Lau said all three languages are taught to students in such schools and considered equally important.

He said language proficiency depended on the individual students and was confident that the foundation built during their studies is sufficient for them to interact with others later on.

Instead of language mastery, he said what matters most in the nation’s bid for harmony is tolerance and the willingness to accept each other.

“But I think what is very important is we have to embrace the differences, I think that’s very important. Even if you speak the same, think the same…  there are differences.

“In a multiracial society like Malaysia, we must be very tolerant, we must embrace the differences,” he said, adding that the government could instead come up with programmes to promote interaction among different ethnic groups.

 

It’s a long article. Read it here: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/are-chinese-schools-really-the-cause-of-disunity#undefined.uxfs

4 June 2017

Najib: Single-stream schools a political landmine

 

PUTRAJAYA — While it would be ideal for Malaysia to have only single-stream schools to unite its multiracial people, the idea is sensitive and akin to a “political landmine”, said Prime Minister Najib Razak this week.

He was responding to suggestions for the government to embrace the concept of single-stream schools and do away with the existing national school system, providing a choice in the main language of instruction. Currently, the multi-stream system consists of national schools with Malay as the medium of instruction, and Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools.

“There are those who suggested that we begin from schools. This is a very sensitive matter, it’s a landmine, political landmine, because we have differing streams,” he said at the end of a candid National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue session with civil servants on their aspirations for the future.
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He said the government has received suggestions to improve the education system by having only one national school where the main medium of instruction is in Bahasa Malaysia, but with electives in Mandarin, Tamil, English and Arabic to broaden students’ proficiency in other tongues.

“In other words, if a student is (ethnically) Chinese, he goes to the school and he learns three languages. This must be compounded with a good-education quality, and his teachers, should not just be from one race, but multiracial,” said Mr Najib.

“So can we accept this model? Let us think through together.”

He said that while everyone wanted unity and believed it should be honed starting from school, no one was able to provide a pragmatic and workable solution.

http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/najib-single-stream-schools-political-landmine

25 May 2017

Amid single-stream school debate, survey shows naysayers edge out proponents

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 ― Nearly half of Malaysians recently polled have opposed the proposal for a single-stream education system in order to foster unity, while another nearly half said they support the idea.

According to a survey on unity carried out by market research firm Kajidata, 47.4 per cent of 1,025 Malaysians were against the proposal, with 10.9 per cent of the total polled were “very opposed” to it.

In comparison, 9.8 per cent of respondents were “very supportive” to the proposal, making up the 41.4 per cent who supported it.

This comes as three-quarters of Malaysians, or 75.1 per cent, said they support the current variety of schools that currently exists for the sake of unity, compared to 15.9 per cent who did not.

Kajidata said the ethnic Chinese and the Sabah Bumiputera were among the top ethnicities who supported this, at 81.5 per cent and 82.3 per cent respectively. A total of 71.7 per cent of Malays also supported the variety of choice.|

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/amid-single-stream-school-debate-survey-shows-naysayers-edge-out-proponents?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#sthash.2oCcChOc.dpuf

21 May 2017

National schools too mono-ethnic, laments Umno Youth leader

Koh Jun Lin

National schools have become too mono-ethnic today compared to its more diverse past, lamented Federal Territories Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Mohammad Rafii.

At a TN50 dialogue session in Titiwangsa yesterday, he lauded a suggestion from a member of the audience, who urged single-stream schools that also preserve the identity of Malaysia’s diverse races.

“When I was little and was enrolled into a national school, in the class there were 20 to 30 Chinese, 20 to 30 Malays, and 20 to 30 Indians.

“But what has happened today? In national schools, some 90 percent are from one race; only one race goes to Chinese vernacular schools, and another race goes to Tamil vernacular schools. Is this good for our country?

“Perhaps we can have what (the participant Yasser Arafat) said just now. Perhaps all races sit as one under one roof, but without threatening their identities,” he told the audience.

He was speaking as a panellist at the dialogue session, together with Titiwangsa MP Johari Abdul Ghani.

Earlier, a participant at the session identifying himself as Yasser Arafat suggested having single-stream schools as part of Malaysia’s aspirations by 2050, but the schools should still preserve the identities of Malaysia’s racial groups.

As examples, he said Muslim students would have to learn Jawi, while ethnic Chinese and Indian student would learn their respective mother tongues.

That way, he said, the groups can preserve their identities while still studying at the same school.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/382929?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

17 April 2017

Expert suggests merging school streams into one

April 18, 2017

‘We need to have a big heart for this to happen,’ says a professor from the Institute of Ethnic Studies.
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PETALING JAYA: An educationist has called for the merger of the national, vernacular and religious school systems, saying that would be the best way to improve citizens’ command of the Malay language and promote national unity.

Teo Kok Seong, a professor at the Institute of Ethnic Studies, said he envisioned a single-stream system which would incorporate programmes for academic, vernacular and religious studies.

He said he was aware that many people would oppose the idea.

“People will oppose because there is lack of trust between races in Malaysia,” he told FMT. “The Chinese feel if it is good for the Malays, it will be bad for them. If it is good for the Chinese, it will be bad for the Malays.

“But why don’t we trust each other? It is because we don’t mix with each other enough. The Malays go to Islamic schools, the Chinese to Chinese schools and the Tamils to Tamil schools. Ethnic division starts from kindergarten.

“By the time they go to Form One in national schools, they are polarised. It is too late. They remain segregated.”

Teo was commenting on Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid’s recent announcement that his ministry would look into ways to enhance programmes and syllabuses to improve national integration.

Mahdzir also said the ministry would find ways to boost Malay proficiency through national programmes.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/04/18/expert-suggests-merging-school-streams-into-one/

A questionnaire on a single stream education system for Malaysia is supposed to be circulating but who has seen it? Does it even exist?

NOT SPEAKING CHINESE = RACIST?

Chong Sin Woon, the Deputy Education Minister said, “They don’t speak Chinese.” And implied that Chinese who don’t speak Chinese are racist.

Politicians will say anything to push their point and later say they were misquoted or didn’t mean what they said.

Chong Sin Woon, the Deputy Education Minister said that Chinese school education does not breed any form of racism, that almost all the MCA leaders attended Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) and they are not racist, but that those who have been alleged to have revived racial elements, from the DAP, are all from Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK or National Schools), and not from SJKC.

He and the DAP can quarrel over that till 3015. I don’t care.

I care about what he added. “They don’t speak Chinese.” He made a strong connection between not speaking Chinese and being racist!

By Chinese, I take him to mean Mandarin.

How foolish his words are!

I don’t speak Mandarin. I don’t read it. I don’t write it. I can understand some spoken Mandarin.

However, I am NOT racist. I know I am not, and my Indian and Malay students and friends know I’m not.

Yet this MCA man implies that I am racist simply because, like so many Chinese who went to an English medium school or a Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK), I don’t speak Chinese.

Of course, he denied this later, and explained that he didn’t mean what he said, that he had no intention of accusing anyone of racism, but rather to emphasize the point that people should not judge any person from their education background alone.

Too late, SENATOR-Deputy Minister. You insulted me and all my siblings, and my sons. We did not attend Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC). We don’t speak Chinese (Mandarin). Racists, are we?

The MCA keeps digging its grave deeper and wider, and for many of us, the MCA is a hopeless Party. What this Deputy Minister said makes our conviction stronger. The future of the Chinese in Malaysia lies not with the MCA.

Resign for shaming Education Ministry, DAP tells Chong

Resign for shaming education ministry, DAP tells

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Chong Sin Woon should resign immediately as deputy education minister for assuming that national schools breed racism, said DAP organising secretary Anthony Loke.

Such a foolish remark has brought shame to the education ministry, he added.

“He should be ashamed of himself and resign as deputy education minister over his statement that national schools has been breeding the spirit of racism,” Loke said in a statement today.

Earlier today, Chong had declared that Chinese school education does not breed any form of racism.

To prove his point, he said, almost all the MCA leaders attended Chinese schools and they are not racists.

“Almost all the MCA leaders are from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC or National-Type Chinese Schools).

“But those who have been alleged to have revived racial elements, from the DAP, are all from Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK or National Schools) and not from SJKC.

“They don’t speak Chinese,” said Chong, who is also a senator.

However, he later explained that he had no intention of accusing anyone of racism, but rather to emphasise the point that people should not judge any person from their education background alone.

On this, Loke said he concurred with the MCA youth chief that the Chinese education should not be blamed by any party, including Umno leaders, as the cause of racial problems in the country.

The Seremban MP however asked: “Was he trying to surmise that the national school system is breeding the racial spirit?

“If he really thought so, why is he not ashamed of taking the post of deputy education minister at the education ministry, which strives to strengthen the national education system?”

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/314334

Malaysiakini

Deputy minister denies Chinese schools breed racism

Kow Gah Chie     Published Today 12:55 pm     Updated Today 2:39 pm

Chinese school education does not breed any form of racism, Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon declared today.

To prove his point, Chong said, almost all the MCA leaders attended Chinese schools and they are not racists.

He went on to say that DAP leaders, whom he accused of reviving the racism element, in fact graduated from national schools.

“Almost all the MCA leaders are from Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC or National-Type Chinese Schools).

“But those who have been alleged to have revived racial elements, from the DAP, are all from Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK or National Schools) and not from SJKC.

“They don’t speak Chinese,” Chong, who is MCA Youth chief, said during his visit to a Chinese primary school in Kuala Lumpur.

He later explained that he had no intention to accuse anyone of racism, but rather to emphasise the point that the people should not judge any person from their education background alone.

“In fact, our school system produced good citizens in the past 58 years after independence,” he said.

Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Survey on single-stream schools induced fear in Malaysia’s Chinese community

DENGKIL – The online survey on single-streamed national schools induced fear in the Chinese community, said Chong Sin Woon.

The Deputy Education Minister told reporters he was bombarded by WhatsApp messages, questioning if the government plans to remove the vernacular school system.

“This is a very sensitive issue. We can’t have a questionnaire asking if we should shut Chinese schools down,” he said during a visit to SJK (c) Dengkil on Wednesday morning.

Chong said the Cabinet has decided that the vernacular schools system are here to stay, urging the public not to worry.

“Vernacular Chinese schools have existed since independence. It is not an isu remeh remeh (frivolous issue) which can be questioned,” he said.

Chong, who is also MCA Youth Chief, also took the opportunity to lash out at participants of the Red Shirt rally who demanded to shut down Chinese schools.

A questionnaire has surfaced online on Sept 29, seeking responses from netizens on whether there should only be a single stream education system.

The document was published via Google Forms, bearing the logo of the Information Department, which falls under the Commu­nications and Multimedia Ministry.

Its minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, however, has denied having knowledge of it.

The questionnaire was taken down after Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong placed a phone call to Salleh.

– See more at: http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/survey-single-stream-schools-induced-fear-malaysias-chinese-community?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_term=Autofeed&link_time=1443678748#xtor=EchoBox

Borneo Post Online

Minister unaware of single stream education system questionnaire

PUTRAJAYA: Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak is in the dark over an online questionnaire seeking a response from netizens on whether there should only be a single stream education system.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said he met Salleh before the Cabinet meeting today, and was informed by the latter it was neither his nor the ministry’s decision to have the survey.

“The minister (Salleh) told me that this questionnaire was not the ministry’s decision and that he was not aware of it.

“He said this incident will not recur and has promised his department will investigate the matter,” he told reporters after attending the Cabinet meeting.

Star

Wednesday September 30, 2015 MYT 7:25:34 AM

Wee calls for action against those behind questionnaire

KUALA LUMPUR: A questionnaire has surfaced online seeking responses from netizens on whether there should only be a single stream education system.

The document was published via Google Forms, bearing the logo of the Information Department, which falls under the Commu­nications and Multimedia Ministry.

Its minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, however, has denied having knowledge of it.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said he called Salleh yesterday, seeking an explanation.

“He has questioned the department’s director-general, who denied that it published the document.

“The minister has promised that his department will investigate the matter,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Salleh, said Dr Wee, had also expressed his opposition against such a questionnaire and said that he would take action against those responsible.

“I urge the ministry to identify the person who uploaded the questionnaire and take action against him,” he said, reminding the public that the right to mother tongue education was enshrined under the Federal Constitution.

“No one is allowed to challenge our multi-stream education system. MCA will not compromise on this matter,” he said.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai would be bringing up the matter at Cabinet today or discuss this with Salleh, Dr Wee said.

http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/09/30/Wee-calls-for-action-against-those-behind-questionnaire/

Malay Mail Online

Single stream education necessary to prevent racial unrest, #Merah169 leader says

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Datuk Jamal Md Yunos, a spokesman for the controversial “red shirts” rally on September 16, said Malaysia needs to adopt a single stream education system to prevent unrest in the future, although he did not specify his language of choice.

The Sungai Besar Umno division chief said it was time that younger generation Malaysians learned to mingle with those of other races, which he said would help them understand each other’s language and culture.

“Let our children go under one roof from young so they can understand the culture, language and when they become adults, they can interpret what they learn since young, they can share and understand each other, unlike today,” he said in an interview on Chinese news portal www.pocketimes.my that was streamed live last night.

He said many ethnic Chinese children grow up without ever learning to speak Bahasa Malaysia, citing as example his experience when the offspring of his friend visited him during his recent Hari Raya open house.

Jamal said his own child, who is only three, is currently at a multi-racial school where even Mandarin is also taught.

He also said Chinese-based political parties should get together and seriously discuss the possibility of introducing a single stream education system, much like in Singapore and Indonesia.

“I worry with the current education system, our country will not be peaceful anymore in 10, 20, maybe 50 years. We have been independent for 58 years and yet today, we are concerned that racial tension is simmering,” he said.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/single-stream-education-necessary-to-prevent-racial-unrest-merah169-leader#sthash.IUbT6mUE.dpuf

Malaysiakini

Perkasa wants single-stream schools for unity

Published 22 Sep 2015, 5:53 pm     Updated 22 Sep 2015, 6:10 pm

Malay rights pressure group Perkasa urges the government to implement single stream schools for the sake of unity.

The call comes after protestors demanded the abolition of Chinese vernacular schools at the rally to “defend Malay dignity”, Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu last week.

Perkasa education bureau chairperson Sirajuddin Salleh said race relations are poor in Malaysia because children are growing up in separate communities.

“They will only be able to make friends, practice tolerance and unite after they leave school. Isn’t that difficult?

“Perkasa is confident that social stability and national harmony can be achieved through a single stream school, with Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction. It should have been so since independence,” he said in a statement.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/313187?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Malaysiakini

Our education makes us ‘5Malaysia’, says sultan

Published 12 Jun 2015, 11:53 am     Updated 13 Jun 2015, 7:56 pm

: Johor Sultan: Single stream education – or become ‘5Malaysia’

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Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ismail has warned that without a single stream education system that uses English as the medium of instruction, a ‘5Malaysia’ will emerge instead of 1Malaysia.

“The Malays go to national schools, where the Chinese feel alienated, while the Indians go to Tamil schools. Where is the unity?” he asked in an interview published by The Star today.

“All this is driving the races apart,” Sultan Ibrahim added.

Early last month, he said Johor should emulate Singapore’s single stream education system, which uses English as the medium of instruction, as it has succeeded in fostering unity, regardless of race or religion.

This has also set the island republic ahead of Malaysia, the ruler said in the interview, citing the example of how Singapore students were faring very well in mathematics and science subjects.

The Johor Sultan also criticised Malaysian politicians for remaining in self-denial or trying to play politics with education.

“They want to be heroes of their races. They talk about nationalism but in the end, do they send their children to boarding schools in Australia and the United Kingdom to learn in the Malay medium?” he questioned.

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