BERNAMA reported that Government to consider teaching of Tamil, Mandarin as compulsory subjects. The report is as follows:
KUALA LUMPUR, June 13 (Bernama) — The government will consider a proposal to make the teaching of Tamil and Mandarin compulsory in all schools, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Sunday.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the teaching of both the mother tongue was contained in the ministry’s policy but had yet to be fully implemented.
“The national language and English are important but we should also study our mother tongue to facilitate communication,” he said when opening the convention of the Federal Territory People’s Progressive Party (PPP) at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), here.
Muhyiddin was responding to a request by PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas for the government to consider making Tamil and Mandarin compulsory subjects in schools.
In his welcoming speech at the function, Kayveas urged the government to also review the system of disbursing Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships to outstanding students.
Muhyiddin said the government realised the importance of students studying their mother tongue because, besides using it to gain knowledge, they could enhance understanding among the races in the country and enable them appreciate one another’s values, arts and culture.
On scholarships, he said the government would look into the matter so that outstanding students were not neglected.
He said students should be given the opportunity to pursue education up to tertiary level, either through the awarding of scholarships or provision of loans.
“This was raised in the Cabinet. We will look at improving the situation,” he said.
Muhyiddin also said that the government was sensitive to the needs of welfare and development at schools, especially national type schools, aided schools, people’s religious schools and missionary schools.
He said the government had allocated RM40 million to meet the cost of utilities at all these four categories of school.
When I read the news, my mind quicky referred to One School that is proposed by concerned Malaysians on our education system and policies. During those days (when this One School idea was brought up), many things were being discussed and debated. One of the matters that being actively discussed is the curriculum and language (which I can relate to this news).
Yes, one of the concerns is the “survival” of Mandarin and Tamil (I wonder how can those two languages can be extinct in Malaysia while it is obvious one of those are being clearly put as requirement in applying job in Malaysia), besides the curriculum that will ensure the continuity of Mandarin and Tamil. In terms of language, very much it very debated that some points seems irrelevant and sounds illogical. Example? One cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia that well because it’s not his/her original tongue. Hello? We have been taught to speak Bahasa Malaysia since we were 7 years old and going on until 17 years old. 10 years of ones life still cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia well?
With this development, I wonder what more reason one can give for not forging better unity starting from the early school days of our kids? Mandarin and Tamil is being considered to be taught in schools. I supposed this development as a gesture to compliment 1Malaysia… so, how about those in National Type schools? Any effort to intergrate one?
Questions on the street: How do our kids going to cope with two more languages? I do think it’s going to be just fine. It won’t hurt… but perhaps unnecessary pressure will hurt them?