Tamil and Mandarin class plan extended to more schools

November 23rd, 2007 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Chinese, Tamil plan extended


PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry will introduce Chinese to another 100 national schools and Tamil to another 50 national schools from next year. This is an extension to a pilot project where Chinese is being taught at 150 national primary schools and Tamil at 70 national primary schools. Under the pilot project, the two languages are being taught through three models. The best model will then be identified and adopted for the teaching of the two languages in all primary schools. 

Education director-general Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom said this was part of an effort to make national schools the school of choice, especially for non-Malays. “Parents have many choices when it comes to selecting schools such as vernacular, private and international but we hope they will pick national schools,” he said after opening a seminar on strengthening national schools. 

Asked how the ministry was dealing with worries from non-Muslim parents that national schools were too Islamic, he said headmasters and principals have been advised to be sensitive and not to cause unease among students.  According to statistics under the National Education Blueprint 2006-2010, 6% of Chinese pupils and 45% of Indian pupils are enrolled in national schools.  

Tamil, Mandarin to be taught in more schools

By : Deborah Loh

PUTRAJAYA: The teaching of Mandarin and Tamil to pupils of all races in national schools is set to take off after the success of the pilot project. 

Another 100 schools would introduce Mandarin while 50 schools would have Tamil classes, Education Ministry director-general Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom said. He said the classes which began this year with 150 schools offering Mandarin and 70 schools Tamil, had met the objectives. The classes, which are optional, were part of the ministry's national education blueprint to enhance national schools and make them more attractive to Chinese and Indians.

The schools offering the classes are selected on the basis of having a multiracial student population.

Alimuddin said it had yet to be determined if the classes had led to more non-Malays joining national schools. "We can make a better assessment after two or three years," he said yesterday after launching a seminar by the ministry on strengthening national schools. The language classes use a simpler syllabus with a fun approach, compared with the pupils' own language classes of the past.

Racial unity among students was one of the topics addressed at the seminar. Alimuddin, when asked about non-Malay parents who feared national schools which highlighted Islamic or Malay characteristics, said school heads had been told to avoid implementing requirements which caused division. "We have informed school heads to avoid anything that raises sensitivities. "Schools should instead emphasise the quality of education."

On whether the ministry should produce guidelines on the matter, he said: "To go into the details would be difficult. We feel school heads would be able to understand what is sensitive and what is not."

  1. According to ministry statistics, enrolment in national schools was around 2.3 million, Chinese vernacular schools 645,000 and Tamil schools 98,000.


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