Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General And MP For Bagan Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 9.8.2016.
The Education Ministry Should Admit Its Defects And Revamp The National Education Curriculum For Failing To Be Malaysian With Only 4% Of Non-Malays Enrolled In National Schools As Compared To The Greater Diversity And Malaysianness Of Chinese Schools With 18% Non-Chinese Students.
The Education Ministry should admit its defects and revamp the National Education Curriculum for failing to be Malaysian with only 4% of non-Malays enrolled in national schools as compared to the greater diversity and Malaysianness of Chinese schools with 18% non-Chinese students. Whilst we would agree with Education Minister Dato Seri Mahdzir Khalid that Chinese schools would never be a mainstream school in 10 years time and it impossible to replace national schools, Mahdzir must concede that national schools have failed to promote greater diversity and a more Malaysian character when even Chinese schools are more multi-racial than national schools.
Recently retired council member of the National Education Advisory Council Prof Dr Teo Kok Seong, said national schools registered only four per cent non-Malay students, while the Chinese schools had 18 per cent non-Chinese students, with the numbers of non-Chinese students expected to go up each year. More non-Chinese parents are refusing to sign up their kids in national schools instead opting for vernacular schools.
A study carried out by the 13-member council made up of educationists, corporate figures and former top-level education department officers, listed five main reasons keeping middle and upper income parents away from national schools. The first was poor teaching and delivery methods by the teachers; second, the administration of national schools was dominated by one race; third, the schools were seen as being too Islamic; fourth, disciplinary issues were seen as a major problem; and finally, some schools were not maintained well, with outdated computers.
Teo said recommendations were made to allow teachers who were good in a particular subject to be appointed head of the subject so that the teacher would be able to guide other teachers well. “For instance, if an Indian teacher is good in English, that teacher should be heading that unit. But instead, preference is given to someone else who is not capable of guiding others. It is the same with a school’s principal. The head of the school should be someone who is most capable to run a school, he added”
Teo continued, “There should not be preference according to a race. Parents just want someone who is capable of teaching and disciplining their kids. If this can be done, the government will be able to regain confidence and attract more non-Malays into national schools.”
DAP reiterates its call to put meritocracy and performance back into our education system or else not only will our educational standards suffer but even Malay parents will opt out by choosing Chinese schools for their children. If education continues to be politicised and the pursuit of excellence is left behind to enable the BN government to score political points, then our children will be the sacrificial lambs with inferior standards and low competitive levels.
Malay parents are aware of the weak command of science and maths amongst 15 year old Malaysian students, not just losing out to Singapore or South Korea, but which according to the Programme for International Student Assessment(PISA), is even inferior to Thailand and Vietnam. This is the reason why Malay parents who wanted to see their children excel in mathematics and loved the up-to-date computer and sports facilities offered at Chinese schools, send their kids there knowing their children are in good hands.
DAP urges the Education Ministry to wake up and face up to its failures by taking into account this latest report. We should not lose another generation of excellent students and see countries like Thailand and Vietnam not only catching up but also surpassing us.
LIM GUAN ENG