|Apr 16, 08 2:41pm
|Government consultation on vernacular education issues must not remain within the context of Chinese schools only, stressed Klang DAP MP Charles Santiago. He said the process should also include all other vernacular schools.
Although Santiago agree with the initiative undertaken by Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong to set up a coordinating unit with Chinese educationist group Dong Jiao Zong (DJZ) to liaise on Chinese education affairs, he nevertheless believed that more must be done.
“The unit should be opened to all mother tongue education NGOs, including the Tamil Foundation and indigenous community representatives.
“It’s the deputy education minister’s responsibility to solicit opinion from all communities that have been marginalised by the education policy,” said Santiago in a statement issued today.
Apart from mere consultation, Santiago also believed that the consultation mechanism should be legislated to affirm its position in order to avoid sensitive troubles that may arise later.
“The Ministry of Education has taken a good approach that resolves vernacular school problems premised on discussions and consensus instead of making decision in a unilateral manner.
“It should regulate the consultation mechanism which is within the ministry’s jurisdiction,” he added.
Build more vernacular schools
He said that the matters that the coordinating unit should also concentrate include “adequate and sufficient allocations and to abolish the discriminating fully-subsidised and half-subsidised policy”.
He also urged the unit to look into the review of the policy of using English as teaching medium for mathematics and science and to re-open the SRJK (C) Damansara.
Santiago said that only be doing there would the government be seen as being serious in tackling vernacular education issues. He added that it was important that these were done with the participation of all the affected communities.
He said that the ministry’s new unit must also take cognisance to a report by DJZ that about 98 Chinese primary schools were needed in the Kang Valley alone.
“For Klang alone, seven Chinese primary schools and at least two new Tamil schools are needed to accommodate the growth in the number of students.
As the parliamentarian for Klang, I am willing to join the coordinating unit as Klang’s representative,” said Santiago.