Monday, March 26, 2012

Trials & tribulations of vernacular education

Vernacular schools? Shortage of Mandarin trained teachers?

Tell me, which UMNO Education Minister would ever support it? Even the proposal to teach maths and science in English was viewed with suspicion as an UMNO attempt to screw up the high teaching standard of those subjects (in Mandarin) at vernacular schools.

If you recall that humongous issue that lead to Ops Lalang in 1987, namely, the Education Ministry's deliberate appointments of some 100 non-Mandarin trained senior assistants and principals to vernacular Chinese schools, it was yet again an attempt to undermine vernacular educational standards.

It was such a provocative issue that, just for once, led politicians from differing political denominations such as MCA, DAP and Gerakan to join up with Dong Jiao Zong to protest against what they saw as a sinister attempt by the UMNO EDucation Minister to dilute the standards of the vernacular schools.

Most of the leaders of the protest were eventually rounded up during Ops Lalang and incarcerated under the ISA. MCA Youth Chief, Lee Kim Sai, was provided early advice to ‘take a holiday’ in Australia so he escaped the dragnet while Najib who wanted to wash his keris with Chinese blood got away scot free.

And who was the UMNO Education Minister we can thank for all the above?

Man man lai, and I’ll tell you his Most Glorious name, He who made doa compulsory in schools even for non-Muslim students.

But most of all, other than that once in 1987, we can no longer rely on nor expect MCA or Gerakan to fight for vernacular education. Since 1987, they have lost firstly, their backbone, then their balls, and now, their dignity.

Indonesian and Thai Chinese used to send their children to Penang for Mandarin education (particularly at Han Chiang) because their governments don't support vernacular education. Don't be surprised that the day will come soon when Chinese Malaysian will have to send their children abroad for the same.


  1. I support 1 school system for all.
    Bahasa Malaysia as medium of instruction.
    Mandatory provision of mother-tongue language lessons for those whose mother tongue is not BM,
    English as a compulsory passing subject.

    Singapore has English as the official medium of instrution.
    Other than that, this is very similar to the Education policy of Singapore.
    Does anyone object to that ?

  2. Thanks for reminding us on Manmanlai especially when it comes to a loaded agenda through education. Never trust politicians...

    However, to the venacular school issues, not an issue... can dismantle BUT... Yes BM as compulsory language but must have second language, either English, Mandarin, Tamil/Hindi, Kazadan & Iban... Or BM & English compulsory with a third language.

    Have we reached that stage yet? Then how, dismantle first, talk later? Today PPMSI, tomorrow change mind again, then back again... Is this what education is all about?

    While we are talking about racist DJZ and ultra-Chinese, how about we go one step futher, how about national unity party? No more Malaysian CHINESE Association, Malaysian INDIAN Congress, United MALAY National Organisation... Just make one party - BN.. like Republican & Democrats... Good idea? Then no racist.

    My colleague who is Indian petitioned his children's headmaster to allow a Tamil class in school, fully sponsored by parents and after school hours. Answer: NO!! Because Eduation Dept policy must have at lest 10 students. They only had 6 students. I told him go rope in the Chinese ma!! So what, Chinese can't learn Tamil meh?? He speaks fluent BM, English, Mandarin, Hokkien & Cantonese. Foreigners marvel that Malaysians are multi-lingual... ahem... some Malaysians are multi-lingual.... Wakakaka

  3. PS. Hope Dr. Mah Hang Soon & Wee Ka Siong reads blogs like KTemoc... maybe they can get insight on why people so angry...

    We want to see Satu Sekolah, Satu Party - BN, Satu Malaysia... MCA, can or not?

  4. The proponents of Chinese vernacular schools in Malaysia have lost sight of the original rationale of the vernacular schools (I'm 1/2 Chinese myself and a fluent Mandarin speaker)

    1. To ensure the survival of Chinese language literacy among the Chinese emigrant population
    2. To preserve Chinese culture and ensure its transmittance to the next generation.
    The early settlers saw themselves Chinese (as in China Chinese) only just transplanted to Nanyang.

    It is possible to achieve (1) within a single National school system (Singapore has done it) provided the educational resources of the nation are focused, and not fragmented 4-ways like today.

    No (2) can also be achieved within a National school system, but a lot of reverse engineering needs to take place. The Sekolah Kebangsaan have lost their way as far as being National Schools.

    Ultimately, realistically, the Chinese and the Indians need to give up their Vernacular school systems for the sake of Nation building. No other country in the world has a full fledged vernacular education system - for two simple reasons - even very rich countries cannot afford it, Two, its counterproductive to national cohesion.

    Learning to read and write in their mother-tongue is a basic human right for children.
    A full fledged vernacular school system IS NOT.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Here come the brain damage "nationalism" commenter leaving their sicko "integration dream" again. Jokers that cannot use they brain properly, keep persuading having one school system and hallucinate that it will bring integration to the society.

    So what next? If you can't get the integration under 1 school system, go for 1 religion? Then what about INCOME class different. Oh well, are you asking for Maoist/Stalin style of communism !!?

    Integration is a process of RESPECT and UNDERSTANDING, not FREAKING synchronise brainwashing!

  7. Every time when the HOT issue of the vernacular education comes up, many 1Sekolah troglodytes surface with 'unity-among-the-mixing-school-children' argument.

    Some even go to the extend of claiming ancestry to 'upstart' their ill-conceit logic of superficiality.

    If they r really into unity, THEN I say go & learn the language of the other fellow countryman.

    After all, many Chinese, Indian, & DLL M'sians r proficient in B Ma'sia.

    What say u, for muhibbah?????

  8. The best opportunity for children of different ethnic backgrounds and religions to learn mutual respect and understanding is the daily interaction in the classrooms and playing fields of an integrated school system.

    It is happening it Singapore, in Australia, in the USA, in Canada but NOT in Malaysia.

  9. All schools systems, especially at elementary school level engage in a subtle for of Brainwashing....the technical term is Socialisation.

    If you don't understand that basic fact, you are unqualified to debate about education systems.

  10. Kalai, appeciate your comments BUT you think venacular schools are counterproductive to national cohesion? You think we are very cohesive today? Don't let us remind you who said I'm Malaysian second and screw the Satu Malaysia stuff my boss is talking about.

    In fact if Manmanlai had lasted another few more years AND become PM, we won't have this discussion today because we will be glued together - no, not with Superglue but with super shit.. He was changing the scope of education so quickly with great evangelistic fevour, I think we would have had that one identity you speak about.

    Second, yes these schools are expansive but the Chinese schools are self-funded. So apa macam? Look at America,they only speak one language (generally speaking) and although are ahead in technology (maybe because of the use of English like pro-PPMSI argue, they lack in understand the cultures of others because language is closely tied with culture. Furthermore, better look at a majority of Americians in the heartlands, they can't even spell properly. Save money to spend on what? War/military? Bridges to no where? Elections? Sounds familiar right...

    20 years ago, Chinese in China couldn't speak English to save their mother BUT today they speak better Engrand than most Malaysians.. How about the Indians in India?

    We can easily still cultivate culture in the home, speak our mother tongues there, learn Mandarin, Tamil, Kadazan-Dusun, Iban BUT the cohesion you speak about... who will make the first move? Of course, the people who hold the most power should initiate it - top down, not down up, right? If change comes from down up, then it means....

    Cohesion is a mental state & needs political will... When Nurul Izzah has a ceremah in the villages and the local boys want to beat her up... I think we need more than getting rid of venacular schools to seek cohesion... Something is terribly wrong with us and is waiting to explode...

  11. After the integration of the 1schools, the kids step into the real world of compartmentalised society where forms demand your ethnic origin to be stated, BTN brainwashing, race-based politics etc.

  12. I put up what I think is a logical and knowledgeable critique of the Vernacular school system.
    Some of you has responded properly even if you disagree, and I appreciate that.

    Some others immediately debase yourself with name-calling like "sicko" and "troglodyte".

    I suppose some of you really do prefer the likes of Monsterball, because that is the standard of your discourse. Lets be honest with yourself.

  13. Took a brief respite to get away from the foul air of THE monster here.
    But the subject of Chinese schools bring me back.
    Wow, MCA is picking up the gauntlet on this issue I see. Wee Kui Siong stick his neck out and got punched in the face.
    Why is the DAP silent on this? Does it agree with the 1 nation I school proposal?
    Yes we should just close the Chinese schools. No other country in SEA has such schools. Even Singapork do not have such schools.
    Don't understand why they get government grants and land and also teachers from the government.
    And Najib is giving out so much of these aids of late.
    I see rich Chinese send their kids there. Why not they help finance the school and get the necessary teachers and other facilities?
    Why must depend on the government?
    And they also want scholarships from the government.
    Then we have also Tamil schools. There is one island where there is only 1 student in the Tamil school. This is really ridiculous.
    MCA and MIC are giving out scholarhips to students of their races. The Malays will not get it.
    The Star too gives 90% scholarships to Chinese students.
    So why do they still want the JPA scholarships, I wonder.

  14. Oxymoron cannot stop putting their foot into their mouth. Bolehland universities intakes, and the monopolies, closed system (unless you know who to get a joking permits OR AP), spell discriminate apartheid. Playing schizophrenia are not going to help people like monsterball in debate or discussion . They keep switching topics.

  15. For those that not sure about particular political system , please make use of wikipedia and internet resources, instead of copying the old bolehland propaganda definition. You will make youself laughing stock instead, socialism and communism are totally different. US unemployment relief is nothing but socialism in practice ! But can you calk it a communism country ?

  16. And people , stop looking at your own bellies button and recycle the old shit about one language system in 1st world country. Most 1t world country has a bilingual educational system on going , and it start way before the Berlin wall fall apart. Stupid! Do you think international trade depends on few well trained translator , that only start the learning in colleges ?
    It seems some people just use internet to spread their pathetic agenda instead of open they view with internet .

  17. Buttercup, PSC sholarships come from public money, while the others you mentioned from private funding. If it's public funding then all deserving Malaysians should be entitled to it.

    Most fair thinking non-Malay Malayisans support affirmative actions as in NEP, but when children of well-to-do UMNO Malays receive scholarships (funded by tax payers' money) while non-Malay children from poor families don't, then don't blame them for opposing the much abused NEP.

  18. The phenomenon of the popularity of vernacular schools has much to do with successive UMNO Education Ministers f*-ing up the education system for their individual political interests, like for example, AI and his attempted projection of ultra nationalism through promotion of baku Melayu.

    Thus, when the standards of national type schools suffer from the mucking around by those UMNO Edu Ministers, the non-Malays (Chinese) had no choice but to turn towards vernacular schooling as the last resort for their children's good education.

    Actually vernacular schools were on their way out in the mid 1960's due to the attractiveness of English type schools in career progression - most Chinese parents sent their children to English type schools. If our selfish Edu Mins had not f* around with national type education, and retained English-Malay as its medium of teaching, today we probably won't see a single vernacular (Chinese) school.

  19. hahahahaha..Ktemoc trying to lure Buttercup to comment...and on Education....all know need to tell us how bad
    it is.
    He does not lure monsterbaby and Bruno....whom he speaks to them from time to time...WHY???
    Talk CURRENT many....all very important and love to read Malaysians views.
    Ktee dare not....for current issues...will make Anwar stronger and the right choice to be PM.

  20. To get some perspective why we reach to such a stage 'here' in so far as education in our country is concerned, i too have some uncles who offered some glimpses to their still wet-behind-ears nephew.

    In the 'beginning', the chinese population in the country was on par with the malays or 'even exceeded' as some claimed. The divide and rule by the British colonists allowed these 3 major races in the Peninsula to have a free hand to 'survive and thrive' separately, according to their own devices, so to speak.....and the chinese especially were the most efficient in getting donation fundings from the more wealthy among them to set up their own chinese schools for their own community.

    There was no such term as Vernacular Schools then. English language is the 'master' language then, and convent and methodist schools run by the nuns and priests sprouted all over the country, with even malay students enrolled in such Christian schools. But the 'local natives' of the malay, chinese and indian races are allowed by their mat salleh master to freely choose to have their children to either enrol in their own mother tongue schools or the 'mat salleh' schools.No compulsion.

    So right from the beginning, the chinese were free to develop their own mother tongue schools unhindered.

    The only conflict, if it could be called that, was later on in the sixties when some chinese realised the increasing importance of learning the English language ( even then !) and if one were old enough to remember the Empat Sekawan TV/Radio Show....this issue was picked up in one of the series, giving rise to the popular ditty " Ang Moh Ch'ae ! Teng Lang Ch'ae !' [English Lessons ! Chinese Lessons !]. The 'fight' then in the chinese homes was whether to send their children to the chinese schools or the english schools.

    Malay schools then were very much in its infancy and were 'looked down' upon and the malay language was considered 'undeveloped'. There was not a single malay university then. So essentially the 'fight' was between the chinese schools and the english schools when it comes to the chinese choosing the type of schoolings for their children.[ Dr M much later on would sneeringly commented that on the 'arrogant' attitude of the chinese with its 5000 years of culture and civilisation when the subject of switching to the malay language in schools were raised .]

    Even after the mat salleh colonist had left, for many years after, the chinese and indians were encouraged to maintain their mother tongue schools as the Alliance agreed to each race taking care of their own as if the British had not left, but this time - political parties of MCA to take care of the chinese, MIC the indians and UMNO the malays, with the English language still holding centre stage, even after the British had left and UM was among the top universities ranking, with the English language as the medium of instructiion.

    So guess who came into the scene later on and brought us into this conundrum which plagued us up til today ?

  21. I agree with Kalai's comments. The existence of vernacular schools are unhealthy in fostering unity.

    Supporters of vernacular schools will usually jump to defend how they have friends from another race etc. But from my experience, that tends to be superficial. Just take a look around public unis - most Chinese/Indians come from vernacular schools and do not mix with others. Same goes with the Malays as well.

    The problem is a school environment with an overwhelming majority of a single race. Just like vernacular schools should be dismantled, the same goes for the "asrama penuh" and UiTM which are only open to bumiputera.

    I agree with the approach suggested by Kalai of a national policy (BM and English) and then the other languages as secondary choices.

  22. Ktemoc -
    "most Chinese parents sent their children to English type schools"

    That is not true. I'm from that era, the middle to late 1960's, so I should know.

    I went to an "English" primary school, but the majority of Chinese children in my town still attended Chinese school.

    That had always been true for a long time, way before Merdeka.

    The number of "English" primary schools in the country was never large - in most districts there was one, exception being large cities/towns such as KL, Penang or the State capitals, where Mission schools, and a few elite English schools such as VI, BBGS,Frees and SGGS were very popular.

    The timetable for the dissolution of "English schools" was part of the 1957 constitution - read your Constitution., so it is not the work of any one politician. I suppose you can blame UMNO as a whole, they were the ones who insisted on that.

  23. Kalai,

    So u know about brainwashing in elemental school, ye???

    What about the activities that happen NOW in national schools? R they catered for our diversified cultural bases? Or r they forced assimilation in disguise?

    Heard of BTN yet? Ketuanan Melayu?

    Get out of the cave, would u???

    So u r aware of the educational system in Singapore, in Australia, in the USA, in Canada???

    Eeh!! In Canada? Have u missed the lingua franca education that some parts of the Canada legally enshrined? Does the dual language speaking Canadians any less integrated?

    Why so? For that matter, Belgium, Switzerland!

    The next thing u would likely saying would be they r of the same Caucasian origin, so the spoken languages difference would not dilute their race homogeneity? Yes?


    ‘If you don't understand that basic fact, you are unqualified to debate about education systems.’


    a piece of advice;

    IFF u really want a TRUE harmonic environment for the kids to grow up, go champion for the removal of the classification of our citizen, bumi & Non, for a start.

    Institutionalized racism IS the one & only one that kill the chance for ANY kids to mix. Not medium of instruction languages used in schools.

    That's unless u have a natural tendency, enhanced via indoctrination, to act hostile to speakers, who don't speak the same as u & yet has the same cittizenship right as u.


  24. There is a Fool here who can barely cobble together a coherent sentence, and he wants to debate Education....sai hei...

  25. Yup, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland are great examples of how a country can accommodate multi-culturalism whithin ONE education system.
    All Canadian children English and French in school - ONE school, there is no English School, No French School.
    Switzerland is Trilingual, French and German being their official languages, English being a strong 3rd language. But all within ONE school system.

    There's plenty to fix with the National School system. But the national healing cannot start as long as the segregated school system exists.

  26. It is rather naive to think that we r going to get intergriti by having single medium schools. We cannot dissociate what happens in school from what is happening outside . When u have a society where one group thinks they ate more special than another , intergriti cannot happen . People will only integrate into a system where they feel they are being given a fair chance to succeed . Here even at school ( national schools at that) , even canteen operators are suppossed to be of one race , topics are slanted in recognizing the contributions of one group over another and when even non Malay children are asked not to bring their food to school organized event, how are all children going to integrate and feel as one. Even the teachers are mainly of one race nowadays. Then when they grow older , they find that they have to work harder than others just to get scholarships or places in higher education , even though they have better results. It is very simplistic to blame vernacular schools for all the mess we r at . Only when the country decides to acknowledge every citizen as having equal rights to access to opportunities to succeed , there will be integration . In fact many vernacular schools are becoming more multiracial than national schools , ESP Chinese schools, as more and more parents of all races realize the mediocrity and racism of national schools and enroll their children in Chinese schools. What we need is a paradigm shift and is has to start with getting rid of malay, Chinese or Indian first , Malaysian last political leaders.

  27. DJZ comes across as a bunch of reactionary racists.
    Racists because they only think in terms of race.
    Reactionary because no prospective solutions are acceptable for consideration except the status quo. That ossification will be the undoing of Chinese education in Malaysia.

  28. Where's Monsterball ?

  29. Kalai,

    U r now talking c**K!

    So, look closely at the vernacular & national schools here as compare with the ONE educational system in Canada.

    Which one has more semblance of ONE education?

    National school? They only used B M'sia & Engrand is ranked the distant 2nd. Mixing of the children r been hindered by all the spurious religious requirements as mandated by the school

    Vernacular school? They teach in three languages - B M'sia, Engrand, Mandarin. On top of that many speak their own dialects, including Tamil. Children mix much better.

    So which one is more inclusive under the TRUE banner of ONE education as been practiced in those mentioned country?

    BTW, if u want to talk about the segregated school system, look no further than the MRSM & UiTM.

    That's true segregation FOR u!

  30. Jebat,

    Back to the slumber in the cave.

    SatuSekolah comes across as a bunch of reactionary racists.

    Racists because they only think in terms of race.

    Reactionary because no prospective solutions are acceptable for consideration except the status quo.

    That ossification will be the undoing of Malaysian education in Malaysia.


  31. Here again we have another post from the wonder idiot who calls himself ktemoc

    ONLY DSAI as Education Minister is at fault. No other UMNO EDUCATION MINSTER prior to or after DSAI is at even the minutest fault.

    His narrow mindededness shines as a beacon for all to see.

    Wake up Mr Bigot and see who has TRULY messed this country up and its education system.

    Heres a hint , you fool ->> ITS NOT DSAI!!!!


  32. Actually sweetie Helen Ang has a fairer and more level-headed write up on the subject Ktemoc.

  33. Ktemoc said...
    we can no longer rely on nor expect MCA or Gerakan to fight for vernacular education

    What do you know 3000 miles away in Sydney ?
    MCA does far more than what DAP can ever hope to achieve, at a practical action level.
    DAP only knows how to make noise.

    Funding for building extensions, upgrading for computer labs, supplementary tuition for weak students etc. etc. the list is endless, and MCA has assisted in pulling both government funding and support from the business community.

    While DAP only knows how to make inflammatory and divisive speeches.
    PKR ?

    The shortage of teachers in SRJK(C) is a practical manpower and educational issue...not a political one.

  34. Perkasa and DJZ are just mirror images of each other.

  35. I'm a product of the Sekolah Kebangsaan System. Not Convent school, Not one of the well-known schools, just plain neighbourhood Sekolah Melayu....because in primary school, my grandmother took care of me on most school-days, and the most important criteria was it had to be within walking distance.

    Yes, I endured Assembly where Muslim Doa was read, and the small non-Muslim minority tried to pretend they were somewhere else...
    but it hasn't turned me into a DSAI hater...hahaha..

    In Form One I quickly discovered those coming from SRJK(C) generally had better maths, but poorer English and Bahasa , some much worse...To this day I'm almost illiterate in Chinese, though I'm a fluent Mandarin speaker.

    To cut a long story short, I graduated from the University of Manchester (Ranked 29th in the World) with a 1st Class Honours in Mechanical Engineering, and a runner-up Exhibition winner for Advanced Mathematics.

    My experience is that family environment and support, personal effort and determination overrides any considerations of Vernacular School or Sekolah Kebangsaan in terms of education achievement.

    I can appreciate the concerns of those who want to ensure the preservation of Chinese culture through the SRJK(C)'s.
    I can also understand the point of those who see an integrated school system as vital to national cohesion.
    What's the right answer ? I don't know.

    Keep an open mind, don't think your view is the ONLY TRUTH.

  36. Me, I think if the National type schools can make my kids able to compete internationally, think logically, understand stuff like work ethics, honour, dignity, etc., I will switch pronto.

    I don't want my kids to end up nerdy, lack strong self-image, etc as are most brought up in confucian-based schools.

    But so long as the chinese schools produce a better student, my kids go there. If the national schools buck up and produce good students, my kids go there. Nothing to do with race, etc. Just want what's best for my kids.

    As it is scared of National Schools. Have you guys really really talked to some of the SPM graduates from medium rank schools, not the cream? Cross your hearts, as employers, you want to employ them?

    It's like PDRM lah, they have all kinds to programs to reduce crime rates in areas where crimes are low but where the local populace are highly articulate and vocal, eg Subang, Damansara, etc.

    Just go and check out the areas where the populace are non-vocal like selayang, jinjang, etc.

    So, for the champions of National schools, go lah, check out the schools in the outer areas. After that, see if you will recommend your worst enemy to send their kids to these schools.

    So simple, also cannot see!

    (And as for Manmanlai, that was years and years ago. He has taubat. He did what he had to do them to a compliant audience with the aid of a compliant team. Enuf said already!)

  37. "And as for Manmanlai, that was years and years ago. He has taubat."

    Mmmm...this manmanlai, he obviously has no shortage of apologists coming to his defence...but where is that elusive proof of 'taubat' from him ?

    These anwaristas are simply grasping at straws....pathetic desperados.

  38. correct, correct, correct!

    taubat? 916! taubat? wakakaka

  39. Haiya, we do not know the man personally, so we look at things and people surrounding him, and who leaves, and who stays.

    William Leong is staying, and quite a few professionals. The riffs and the raffs have left and are leaving. That's signs of taubat.

    Look at the wife, look at the daughter (s), do they carry a certain negative aura around them like the wives and children of you-know-who's.

    I can go on. Lets not throw away the baby with the bath water. GE13 is like tomorrow. Time to just ABU! Focus with one message lah.
    Anon 5:10.

  40. KTemoc,

    How come that arsehole, mendicant salesperson managed to sneak through the filters and your vigilance to come here and pollute your comments section to hawk worthless, low class products?

    See 9:10 AM March 28, 2012 above.