Sunday, May 20, 2007

Selangor MB adopts Sean-the-Man's proposals on national schools as his own

Here's a half decent suggestion from Selangor MB, Khir Toyo.

[He] today suggested that Chinese and Indian schoolchildren attend the national school in the morning and learn their language, culture and religion in their vernacular school in the afternoon, as a step towards greater integration as well as to "move forward".

He said the Malay schoolchildren were already practising this, adding that they attended the national school in the morning and learned about religion and little of Arabic in the Sekolah Agama Rakyat in the afternoon.

By learning together under one roof in the morning, the Malay, Chinese and Indian schoolchildren could compete with one another in education as well as learn and understand one another's culture and, at the same time, they would be able to learn their mother tongue, culture as well as religion in the afternoon in the vernacular school.
Hmmmm... do you reckon he pinched the idea from my blogpost dated 25th Sept 2006 regarding the NEP? Here's an excerpt of what I wrote 8 months ago:
I also feel the schooling system needs to be revamped to draw Malaysians closer to each other.

(a) No more venacular Chinese or Tamil schools, Malay boarding schools or MARA junior colleges.
(b) All Malaysian children attend National Schools. The Vision schools were a good idea.
(c) All subjects to be taught in BM and English.
(d) All Mandarin, Tamil and religious classes can only be taught AFTER a full day's "regular" classes and to be fully funded by the schools.
(e) Teachers and the Education Dept will be the first govt department to be revamped to make sure the composition of teachers and officials is balanced.
(f) Instead of a Higher Education and an Education Minister, there will be 3 Education Ministers of the same rank (one of each race or something to that effect) each with veto power that cannot be overwritten even by the PM, unless by a 2/3rds majority in parliament. The Party Whip does not apply to MPs when voting on education bills.
Well, he's got part of my point (a) and practically regurgitated ad verbatim my points (b), (c) and (d).

However, he leaves out both of the 'extremism limitation' controls in points (e) and (f). Without these unassailable safeguards in place (against the rampant Islamisation and the persistent sidelining of non-Malay teachers & headmasters in national schools), there is no guarantee that this initiative will not turn out to be a Trojan horse, where non-Malay and non-Muslim schoolchildren find themselves up shit creek without a paddle - where they have no alternative to these unofficial but forcibly religious, mono-cultural schools masquerading as 'national' schools.

For at the end of the day, that is the real all-important reason why non-Malay parents refuse to send their children to national schools in the first place. This proposal will not succeed without these safeguards.

Full article on Khir Toyo's proposal below:

Khir's Proposal On Vernacular Education

SHAH ALAM, May 19 (Bernama) -- Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo today suggested that Chinese and Indian schoolchildren attend the national school in the morning and learn their language, culture and religion in their vernacular school in the afternoon, as a step towards greater integration as well as to "move forward".

He said the Malay schoolchildren were already practising this, adding that they attended the national school in the morning and learned about religion and little of Arabic in the Sekolah Agama Rakyat in the afternoon.

By learning together under one roof in the morning, the Malay, Chinese and Indian schoolchildren could compete with one another in education as well as learn and understand one another's culture and, at the same time, they would be able to learn their mother tongue, culture as well as religion in the afternoon in the vernacular school, he told reporters after launching the Selangor Teachers' Day 2007, here.

"In this way, we will see that we move as one society of various races having the same vision and mission. At present, we see that there is no convergence and mixing among students, and this gap will become a problem for us," he said.

Mohamad Khir said the leaders of every community must open their mind on this for the sake of the nation which had attained 50 years of independence, and added that he was afraid of what would happen over the next 50 years if this integration issue was not ironed out.

"We have to think about the future. Let us do something; let us open our mind to this suggestion. I think there is no harm," he said.

Asked whether his idea was to help integration, Khir said: "Not only that, I think to move forward we have to move into this angle. Besides, we can maintain our sekolah jenis kebangsaan (national type schools)."

He said he saw some deprivation at present because Chinese and Tamil schools were not fully aided government schools and proposed that they use the funds for them to develop their own curriculum in the vernacular school after the schoolchildren attend the national school.

He said the Chinese, Indians or Malays should not be worried about the idea because they still had the avenue or platform to preserve their religion, language and cultural heritage.

-- BERNAMA

4 comments:

The Mushruminator said...

I think that having all students attend national schools with religion and language classes besides BM and English being held after regular classes would be a good step towards promoting racial harmony but there's a price to be paid for it. There would be the problem of what to do about some of the excellent vernacular schools out there, though. In the past, nationalisation of many of the missionary schools resulted in far lower standards. Also, you have to admit that the greater degree of independence enjoyed by many of the vernacular schools now mean that they are freer to implement policies that they deem beneficial with minimal hassle. Having said that, I think there's more to be said for standardising schooling.

Suggestion (f) would be a great way of curbing fundamentalism or chauvinism but, again, there's a price and I don't think this one's worth paying. First of all, you'd have problems with getting the education ministers to agree on everything and having 3 of them just slows down the process of policy-making and implementation. Secondly, to legally entrench the requirement that only a 2/3rd majority in Parliament can override executive education policies, you would have to amend the Constitution. This is because any normal Act passed enacting that requirement could be repealed by a simple majority in Parliament. I think the Constitution's screwed up enough without more meddling by incompetent legislators. Thirdly, insulating the education ministers against parliamentary scrutiny (even if that principle has been eroded beyond recognition in Malaysia) may not be in the interests of the country given the inefficacy of Malaysian ministers.

seantang said...

Personally, I think it's a price worth paying.

1. The 3 ministers not agreeing is the entire point. Right now UMNO has perpetual right of way by monopolising the Education and Finance ministries. The changes they make seem to only setback the education system and national integration.

Sometimes, deadlock is a good thing.

2 & 3. I suggested that the 3 education ministers be individually given veto powers which cannot be overwritten by the executive.

Veto powers do not extend to decision making and implementation powers. They can unilaterally stop decisions being implemented, but they can't unilaterally implement any policies by virtue of all 3 ministers being of the same rank.

Amending the constitution should is what should be done. The point is to make it as hard as possible to reverse the veto, once exercised.

Anonymous said...

yeah, probably khir's people saw your blog and got the ideas...keep on writing man.

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