Quo vadis the Malaysian education system?
YOURSAY ‘I don't see the reason why we should not recognise UEC and deny the rights of so many that goes through this education system.'
Starr: Whatever it is, PM Najib Abdul Razak's visit to Dong Zong's Chinese New Year open house will not change the course of the country which is increasingly authoritarian in nature. The Chinese unhappiness is not only on Chinese education but also a host of other issues which have been plaguing the country.
Furthermore, this election is not all about communal interests, though certain quarters within Umno would still like to make race and religion as the main issues, but about reforms and good governance.
Without reforms and good governance, concessions given in whatever forms before elections are clearly not going to be sustainable as they are merely designed to pacify certain quarters in return for electoral support.
In education, we want genuine reforms on the entire system, not just Chinese education.
Kee Thuan Chye: Pakatan Rakyat has already said three years ago that if it came to power, it would recognise the United Examination Certificate (UEC). But with the condition that its scholars also master Bahasa Malaysia. That condition is a bit of a downer, but at least the overall gesture is positive.
CQ Muar: In the good old days many of my good friends were Malays and Indians. We used to chat freely and ‘lepak' at open-air mamak or Malay stalls without a care in the world during schooldays and later in working life.
But it's now a different kind of scenario. I miss those nostalgic moments. Wonder if this would ever be the same again?
Cogito Ergo Sum: Several Malaysiakini commentators bemoan the good old days when race, religion and creed did not matter. I, too, miss those days when we mixed freely and were always mindful of one another's taboos and beliefs.
I teach at an institution of so-called higher learning and my biggest problem is conversing with students in English. And it's not just the language alone. The students lack critical thinking skills.
In those days we had General Paper at HSC (Higher School Certificate) and used a textbook by John Doraisamy. It taught us the art of understanding critically evaluate arguments.
Today, our graduates from local universities do not even have the thinking skills and keep to their own racial groups.
We have only our education system to blame that seems to have taken a step back. Quo vadis?
Awakened: I do agree that many Chinese from Chinese primary school can't speak and write good English due to poor exposure to the English-speaking community.
I am a product of the Chinese primary school system. I later went to an English-medium secondary school, and finally to the Malay-medium Universiti Sains Malaysia.
I sent all my three children to Chinese primary school and later to government secondary school. Today, all of them can speak and write in three languages.
Mindspeaks: I don't see the reason why we should not recognise UEC and deny the rights of so many that goes through this education system unless that government is so afraid that the agenda of one national school system will be jeopardised.
Instead of doing this, government should have followed what Singapore did to their education system, where they introduced mother-tongue education in the national school system.
We don't need vernacular schools to do this. We can even introduce other foreign languages in national schools. After all, learning languages is good to expand our reach and competency in this globalised world, and we need not to do this by having separate vernacular schools.
In the name of mother-tongue education, for so many years now we have deprived one segment of the society their important phase of growing up being a "Malaysian".
It's not too late, we can still change but this time we should not make a decision based on how many votes we can win.
Mushiro: Now Najib has belied the pride and arrogance of Umno's Ketuanan stand to come a-begging to Dong Zong. Do not be fooled by Najib as he did not bring any goodies for the Chinese in spite the impending elections.
An impending election and a strong Pakatan can do wonders to Umno's pride. But only a change of government can permanently solve most problems.
CAT Lover: The self-proclaimed Chinese leaders in guilds and associations in Malaysia shout at the top of their voices on perceived problems in order to be noticed by the powers-that-be. That is their personal agenda.
Once they are heard and bestowed with a ‘datukship' they become running dogs of BN. See how they grovel today. The majority of Chinese are not with you, Dong Zong.
Onyourtoes: Look Dong Zong, for years you fellows have been protesting but nothing worthwhile has come up. For years, no one of substance from BN has visited you. For years, Chinese are left fighting for enrolment into Chinese primary schools.
All of sudden, you fellows want to warm up to BN and PM. What exactly is your motive? At least, the PM is clear in his motive; he wants Dong Zong to help solicit Chinese votes. But what about you, Dong Zong, what is your motive?
It is my belief that the PM will soon announce that the government will recognise the UEC qualification. My question to you is, then what? Everybody will be happy ever after?
For goodness sake, look at BN's track record and consistent pattern of behaviour. One sparrow does not a spring make; especially the winter has been long and cold under BN. Dong Zong is hanging a cow head to sell dog meat.
Isana: Najib's adviser: What time ah Anwar Ibrahim sampai? 11am ah. Okay, okay. Better arrange for Boss to go early. Better not sua muka dengan Anwar, if he challenge Boss for debate, mati kita.
And also better advise Boss not to ask the crowd whether they are ready for BN. Phew... stress la this job.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now.