By Mohamad Tajuddin Mohamad Rasdi

If vernacular schools go, so must UiTM

The pro-chancellor of UiTM has made an overly simplistic argument about the GE13 and racial disunity in this country.

He assumes that the Chinese and Indian vernacular schools are to be blamed and thus should be terminated.

However simplistic his argument is, I, reluctantly, tend to agree with him that these vernacular schools must go.

But should not the same simplistic argument be made on Islamic religious schools that puts Malay children in the system for 11 years without knowing any other races?

And for that matter what about UiTM?

Is this not the biggest race-based educational institution in the world?

So if Chinese and Indian vernacular schools must go... so must Islamic religious schools and UiTM should also be closed.

Now if we close all Islamic and vernacular schools, we have to prepare a robust national school curriculum that truly takes care of the cultural and religious needs of all Malaysian societies.

Yes, there must even be the teaching of Christianity and Buddhism in the national schools!

And yes, there must be the teachings of Chinese and Indian cultural anchors in our national schools.

During Merdeka, it was assumed that if we can forget all our cultures and religions, than we would be one big happy family.

We would go the communist way or the western secular way.

But after 50 years of Merdeka our cultures are still held dearly and this is a testament to their importance... not a hindrance to national unity.

All we need is simply to understand each other's cultures more and stop learning too much science, geography, history and mathematics that is overloaded now anyway.

Now, a different scenario.

What if we all want to still keep the vernacular schools, the religious schools and UiTM?

Senang saja (easy).

We should have a strict policy that any child who goes through a six-year primary vernacular or religious school curriculum must spend a year out at a national school.

This applies also to the secondary vernacular and religious schools.

The secondary student must spend one year out at a national secondary school.

No two ways about it.

Ah... what about UiTM? Same thing.

Diploma students at UiTM must spend one semester out at a multi-racial college.. Preferably Tunku Abdul Rahman College.

All degree students must spend two semesters out, preferably at University Tunku Abdul Rahman.

This way, we should ensure some resemblance of racial unity... even if a little.

So...what say you pro-chancellor? I ‘support' your idea tetapi kalau boleh...jangan cakap pasal salah orang lain saja...salah kita kena tengok-tengok sama. (If possible, don't talk about the faults of others without also looking at our own).