Saturday, November 14, 2009

Call on the Federal Government to amend the 1996 Education Act to clearly guarantee the permanent existence of National type primary schools.

DAP has been persistent in calling on the government to repeal clause 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act which reads" where at anytime the Minister is satisfied that a National -type primary school may suitably be converted into a National primary school, he may by order direct that the school shall become a National primary school".

The federal government finally bowed to pressures and presented amendment to the Parliament for debates.

Nevertheless, although it was repealed in 1996, non Malay communities still do not feel assured about the permanent existence of the National type primary schools.

Time and again, there will be calls from some groups, individuals and Barisan Nasional politicians for the implementation of single stream school education policy which represents the " final objective "of the 1956 Razak Education Report.

The 1956 Razak Report has recommended that "the ultimate objective of education policy in this country must be to bring together children of all races under a national education system in which the national language is the main medium of instruction".

DAP opposes a single stream school educational system as our stand is that all races have a right to learn their mother tongue language and that the existence of multi stream schools is not a cause of racial disunity.

Although section 21(2) of the 1961 Education Act has been repealed, this final objective continues to be the guiding philosophy of the nation's education policies and results in National type schools not being given the fair treatment.

In August last year, Najib who was then the Deputy Prime Minster had said in an interview-- ' I am a defender of Chinese primary school education. I have often reminded the Chinese voters that in 1996, during my tenure as education minister, I abolished section 21 (2) of the Education Act 1961, to ensure the perpetual existence of Chinese primary schools'

But recently when there were calls for the implementation of single stream school education system, the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that he was personally for single stream schools to promote unity and 1Malaysia.Such schools, he said, were the ultimate objective of the Razak Report but due to circumstances involving the country's history, it ended up with a multiple stream system.How could non Malay communities who oppose single stream school system feel comfortable when a Deputy Prime Minister did not state the government's opposition to suggestions to implement single stream schools but yet voiced his personal approval ?

Neither did Najib reiterate that the National type schools will exist permanently. Najib has replied that it will only be implemented if the people are for it.

Why could not Najib reiterate that National type primary schools will perpetually exist?

In order to allay the legitimate fears of the non Malay communities as well as to prove that under Najib's 1 Malaysia concept , national type schools will permanently exist , the Federal Government should amend the 1996 Education Act to clearly guarantee the permanent existence of National type primary schools.

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