I refer to the article entitled "Putrajaya scraps local student quota in international schools". It made me very happy while flabbergasted and sad at the same time.
Happy because now more Malaysians have access to an education conducted predominantly in the language of their choice - Bahasa Malaysia in SK, Tamil and Mandarin in SJK and now fully English at international schools.
However, it is a very sad day for many parents like me. Despite living in Petaling Jaya surrounded by such schools, we are simply unable to afford the fees.
For others in smaller towns and kampungs, there are no such schools available!
In the past three years, I have personally written many letters to both online and printed media, worked closely with education NGO Parent Action Group for Education (Page) in appealing to our leaders, hoping to make the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) permanently available in addition to the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening the English Language (MBMMBI) policy in national schools.
We only succeeded in getting from the authorities a little concession - to allow pupils who have started with, to continue with PPSMI until the end of their school years.
Standard 1 and 2 pupils as well as those younger ones entering schools do not have any choice.
We had a difficult time and endured much frustration in seeking for teaching and learning of just these two subjects in English.
We were given a variety of excuses by the education minister, his deputies and ministry officials and were even labeled "unpatriotic" by some NGOs opposing PPSMI.
But all of a sudden now, full English medium schools in the form of international schools are available to a selected few lucky Malaysians.
With this, many of the reasons given against PPSMI have now proven to be mere lame excuses!
I personally believe that most of our political leaders were and are aware of the advantages of at least PPSMI, if not full English medium schools.
Hence, I hope this is just the first step undertaken by our government towards introducing English medium schools as reported recently.
The rakyat must demand that this choice is also available soonest possible to all of us throughout the country.
Allow English medium schools alongside SK and SJK soonest possible.
At the very least, allow PPSMI and MBMMBI to go on indefinitely, giving both sides a choice.
Otherwise, the main beneficiary of this decision appears to be the children of our leaders and politicians who for obvious reasons have chosen not to speak out in support of PPSMI ever since the decision to abolish it was decided in 2009.