The recent debate on teaching of Science and Maths in English has also brought about the worst in all of us, Malaysians. Every other group released and published research papers favoring their point of view.
Most of these research papers highlighted the failure of the policy citing recent years' UPSR, PMR and SPM results and concludes with how well the students education, upbringing and career would be if they are educated in the mother tongue, i.e Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil.
This year's UPSR results suggest that more students are now choosing to answer questions in English. I think the policy is fine, just that the implementation needs to be improved and enhanced further.
The roundtable discussion organised by the Education ministry is now reaching it's final stage. In a Malaysian give and take style, a compromise is apparently being worked out where teaching science and math would only be in secondary schools.
I cannot see what the benefit of this is. Fed up with the nonsense by education and political groups, a group of Parents (The Parent Action Group for Education-PAGE) has sprung to the defense of the policy. But PAGE is represented by parents around the Klang Valley therefore their views may be just of those in urban areas.
On the other hand, we have a serious threat from the Chinese Education Group. Read here.
Dong Jiao Zong threatened to launch a massive protest action should the government decide to continue with its policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English. They claim that the teaching Science and Maths in English is the greatest threat to Chinese education.
They also continue to champion so-called mother tongue education and conveniently ignoring the fact that Mandarin is not the mother tongue for majority Chinese Malaysians. The same applies to the proponents of Tamil education in this country.
If their claims are true enough, Dong Jiao Zong should also undertake research on the impact of teaching in Chinese medium on all other subjects to thousands of Malay and Indian students in Chinese schools.
More importantly, if they do really defend mother tongue education, they should be principled enough to bar non-Chinese student from being enrolled into a Chinese school and advice non-Chinese parents to enroll their children in Tamil and National Schools.
This threat of massive protest only confirms that education groups like Dong Jiao Zong are the greater threat to the peace and security of this country rather than an education policy. They are willing to threaten the government if things don't go their way, no matter that the decision has not been made. How irresponsible!
Political parties, obiviously afraid of losing support of the Chinese, have so far, I believe, not responded to this threat.
I personally think that the people, apart from some racist education groups and the ministry should be engaged in the decision making. Most research papers undertaken are skewed to reflect the preference and opinions of parties with vested interest. So it highly unlikely that the views presented by these interest groups reflects the true wishes of rakyat, especially parents and future parents to be.
I call for a referendum to be undertaken throughout the country to decide on this issue once and for all. I think there has not been any referendum undertaken in Malaysia for a long time. It's about time we do it and not leave such an important decision to the whims and fancies of politicians, race based education groups and other pressure groups.
For Once, Let the Rakyat decide..