I read with interest the arguments put forward in relation to the article Time to phase out Tamil schools. In my opinion, it is not only Tamil schools that need to be phased out but also the non- uniform Malaysian education system which has different university entrance qualifying mechanisms.
What is more urgent is to phase out local higher institutions run by mediocre academics. Medio-cracy has crept in instead of meritrocracy in the sense that one could easily note non-competitive programmes/courses being offered by our local universities which do not enable our graduates to compete on the global platform.
I am a locally trained mathematical physics student, who has spent some time in a European country as a pre-Phd student. Based on my reseach capability and talent, I was offered a Phd position by the professor with whom I worked with.
However, that country does not recognise a Malaysian M Sc by research though I had an excellent thesis which was published in a peer journal. The reason I was given was that, '... your Masters degree is not compatible with our country's standard'.
In the beginning, I refuted their claim but later came to realise that the training of a mathematical physics undergraduate in that country, an in particular in that institute, is much thorough than what our local institutions can even imagine.
I lost six years of my life time in obtaining an M Sc degree which is classified as unacceptable by European standards.
Why do we have such a sorry state of education and whom should we blame for such state? Why does our government need to spend millions of ringgit to train 'specially privileged' students who will, in return, be appointed as academics in local institutions?
Why can't our government appoint foreign scientists of high calibre from Eastern Europe, India or China to improve research and development (R&D) in this country. Will it not benefit students if they can have a sound exposure to cutting-edge science and technology locally?
What is the point of building expensive infrastructure and buying modern technologies from elsewhere when in truth we are not even able to make our own calculator?
A language or inherited culture is not a barrier to being a developed nation. What matters most is development of mind in tandem with the world's shifting paradigm.