PETALING JAYA: Single-stream schools for the people of Johor is a positive step towards the strengthening of unity.
This was said by retired National Education Advisory Council member Prof Teo Kok Seong, when contacted by FMT.
“By having the same mould, our people get to support the same national identity.
“At the moment, we have a variety of national identities. Our children study in diferent school systems, and as a result this is what we get,” he said, pointing out that currently even the primary school level has seven different streams.
His statement came following a proposal put forth by the Crown Prince of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to scrap vernacular schools in the state.
Tunku Ismail, in a video released on the Johor Southern Tigers’ Facebook page last weekend, said vernacular schools went against the concept of unity.
He was also reported as saying that soon there would only be single-stream “Bangsa Johor” schools in the state.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) President Hashim Adnan, however, believed that the proposal would face a huge obstacle in the sense that not all teachers come from the state.
“There is not a single school where all the teachers come from one place. They come from all states nationwide,” he told FMT.
The idea to abolish vernacular schools was highlighted by historian Prof Khoo Kay Kim back in 2009. He said this was important to realise the 1Malaysia vision.
This was supported by several national leaders, including former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir as well as Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, among others.
Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid had also called for political will to at least discuss this proposal.
However, there were many who were opposed to the idea, including the PKR Youth chief, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad who said the idea of one system, which suited all, was an outdated one.
He also said there was no need to waste time or increase the tension among the different races in Malaysia by scraping vernacular schools.