Vernacular education will remain the first choice of many parents until national schools improve in quality, said PKR’s Wong Chen tonight.
National schools will not be able to perform their “duty” of fostering national unity until they are of sufficient quality to make parents pick them over vernacular counterparts, the Kelana Jaya MP added.
Speaking at Gerakbudaya’s forum on the national education system, Wong also said whether or not vernacular education remains in the country should be decided by the public rather than politicians.
“National schools have a duty to foster national unity,” he said.
“At the moment you have teachers saying things in schools and they don’t get stern action. They should be sacked,” he added.
He was referring to several reports last year of teachers making offensive remarks to children from other races.
Vernacular education is a contentious topic in Malaysia, with proponents vociferously defending it as a constitutional right while critics condemn it for allegedly encouraging racial silos that are detrimental to national unity.
Despite the disagreement, however, vernacular schools continue to grow in popularity, with an increasing number of non-Malay parents preferring to send their children to Mandarin- and Tamil-language schools over the Malay-language national schools.
Source : RAM ANAND@The Malay Mail Online