Wednesday, April 2, 2014

'Tamil high school an idea whose time has come'

10:38AM Apr 2, 2014- Malaysiakini

'Tamil high school an idea whose time has come'

DAP national vice-chair M Kulasegaran said the Education Ministry could no longer ignore the “body of opinion that has arrived at a critical mass” behind the need for a first-ever Tamil secondary school in the country.

The MP for Ipoh Barat said arguments adduced by the ministry that the Education Act 1996 does not provide for the establishment of Tamil secondary schools were not “writ in stone”.

“In recent years, we have seen private secondary schools established that do not follow the national education syllabus and use languages other than Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction,” observed the federal legislator.

“True, a Tamil secondary school would need federal government aid for its establishment which would be unfeasible due to the provisions of the Education Act 1996,” opined Kulasegaran (left).

“There are ways around these obstacles which could be circumvented given the political will,” he asserted.

Kulasegaran said the simplest way would be to amend the Education Act 1996 but this was a step which he doubted the MIC, as the party representing Indian Malaysian interests in the federal cabinet, could be counted on to bring off.

‘Even if one were to take an expansive view of Prime Minister Naib Abdul Razak’s exhortation to Indian Malaysians to place their ‘nambikei’ (trust) in him, I doubt the MIC would make so bold as to urge the government to amend the Education Act for the purpose of building just such a school,” said the three-term parliamentarian.

Kulasegaran said the decision of the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat government in Penang to make available land in Bagan Dalam, Butterworth, for the building of what would be the country’s first Tamil secondary school was an enormous fillip to the decades-long Indian Malaysian quest for the school.

“This represents a giant leap in that quest, but things cannot come to fruition without the federal government circumventing the Education Act or agreeing to amend it,” he remarked.

“Where there is political will there will be a resolution. A Tamil secondary school is an idea whose time has come,” argued the DAP leader.

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