Prof: Malays want children to learn Mandarin for career prospects


PETALING JAYA: With China emerging as the world’s economic superpower, more Malay parents are sending their children to Chinese schools, said Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s, Professor Dr Teo Kok Seong.

He said more Malaysian parents wanted their children to learn Mandarin to boost career and business prospects, especially with China.

According to statistics, China recorded an average growth rate of 10 per cent over 30 years.

“Chinese schools may become popular and act as mainstream schools in the future. This is based on the trend in the number of non-Chinese pupils in Chinese schools, which was 12 per cent just a few years ago and 18 per cent this year. It may go up due to the demand for knowledge of the language,” he told FMT.

“More parents in Malaysia are hoping their children will learn Mandarin so that it is easier for them to do business in the future.”

Recently, Teo told FMT that other reasons for non-Chinese parents to send their children to Chinese schools were: parents being unhappy with the poor teaching and delivery methods of the teachers; the administration of national schools being dominated by one race; schools being seen as too Islamic; disciplinary issues being seen as a major problem; and some schools being not well maintained, with outdated computers.

Teo’s statement was supported by MCA’s religious harmony bureau head Ti Lian Ker, who said many civil servants and politicians enrolled their children in international schools and Chinese-medium schools for better language skills and an all-round education.

Ti said among them were heads of departments and local councils, executive councillors and Umno leaders who preferred sending their children to international schools or Chinese schools to learn Mandarin so that the children could easily do business with China, or be good in English to move up the corporate ladder.