It is heartening to see that more and more people are receptive to the idea of single school stream here in Malaysia. Streamlining the education system via the national schools is the only way to achieve a steady cultivation of national unity.
In today’s NST, there is a letter to the editor which projected the idea of unifying our children under one stream education. It is vital, and it must start now before it is too late.
Education: National schools are better for ethnic unity
STUDIES on education in a multicultural society have shown that ethnic diversity is not a threat to national unity. The problem of racial polarisation is more due to a separation of different cultures in different schools but not the presence of children of diverse races and religions within a single school.
Ethnic diversity is not a threat to national unity, provided children of different races and religions grow up together under a single national education system that discriminates against no one. By having different sets of schools for different ethnic groups, we are in actuality polarising the education process.
History has proven that in some countries, people of different races and faiths can live harmoniously under a democratic government when they are willing to sacrifice a bit of their differences for the sake of the country.
Our national education policy should thus see to the bridging of this gap of diversity and it has to be tackled judiciously to avoid any sort of schism in our society. If this gap is not narrowed, it can lead to a lack of tolerance for one another and the disintegration of our society.
It can be observed that shared values and tolerance for one another are more conspicuous in multiracial schools at the primary school level but begins to deteriorate the moment pupils are streamed into schools or institutions with a single race domination.
All national schools should reflect the multiracial population of the country. The national schools should cater to the needs of all races.
Mother tongue should not be an issue to some parents as it can be taught in all national schools. Parents and pupils should be allowed to choose which “extra” language they wish to learn.
It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that national schools will always surpass vernacular or religious schools to achieve this noble vision of depolarising the races in the country.
The nation’s current multi-stream education system should be re-examined, but before this can happen, the national schools have first to play a more crucial role in our education process to bring all the races together. Racial polarisation, if not nipped in the bud, could destroy the foundation of our society.
DR M.A. NAIR
It is imperative that we view his opinion with an open mind. There are truths in it. With that, I would like to congratulate the Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua website for its 1st year anniversary. It was launched on 31st August 2009. There is also a petition for you to sign if you agree to this campaign. Please have put down your signature HERE.
Congratulations to Satu Sekolah Untuk Semua (SSS) for persevering in promoting this effort. Where even the government is too cowardly to act on something as good as this, the SSS had remained steadfast in pursuing this noble cause.
All for national unity.
Hopefully, The New Straits Times, as the nation’s premier thinking man’s paper, can lead the way in disseminating information for this goal to be achieved.