Malaysiakini News

Activists: National identity trumps demand for English-medium schools

Annabelle Lee  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Education activists have voiced their concerns towards the idea of re-introducing English-medium public schools into the country, doubting its feasibility and value towards preserving national identity.

This comes after a recent survey which found that a majority of Johoreans polled supported bringing back such schools.

Malay replaced English as the medium of instruction in national schools in 1970.

Responding to the survey, former Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI leader Ishak Surin said it would be “unsuitable” to revert to English because national schools should reflect national identities and values.

Sekolah kebangsaan (national schools) is about (preserving) bangsa (race) and identity.

“We are not English, we are Malaysian (and thus) it will be unsuitable if English was used (as a medium of instruction). I do not agree with it.

“We should not deify English... I would prefer it if we encouraged the learning of local languages like Mandarin and Tamil instead,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted...

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