Press Statement by LLG Cultural Development Centre on 14 June 2010 in Kuala Lumpur
LLG Cultural Development Centre welcomes the suggestion by Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that the ministry would consider to make Chinese language and Tamil language subjects compulsory.
LLG fully supports the suggestion and urges the education ministry to draft the guideline in detail and implement it as soon as possible as the matter has long been delayed. The proposed measure can prevent schools from denying students’ right to learn their mother tongue with the excuse that number of student is less than 15. To emphasize its importance, LLG further suggests that mother tongue be made a compulsory examination subject.
While preparing for the implementation of the new policy, the Education Ministry should help to solve the long neglected multiple problems currently faced by the mother tongue classes listed as below :
(1) Education Ministry should issue circular that all mother tongue classes must be conducted within schooling hour, schools are prohibited to arrange mother tongue classes out of schooling hour;
(2) (2) Education Ministry should train sufficient mother tongue teaching staffs. The current decreasing of Chinese language teachers in secondary national schools is worrying. We strongly suggest the government recognises and enrolls holders of UEC (Unified Examination Certificate Of Chinese Independent Schools) and Malaysian graduates from China and Taiwan universities into teacher training colleges, to resolve the shortage of Chinese language teachers;
(3) (3) There was only 0.3% of students achieved A+ in 2009 SPM Chinese paper. It was extraordinary low if compared with Malay language (9%), English language (3%), and Tamil language (3%). Apparently this will discourage students to follow Chinese language class, the Education Ministry must study the problem and raise the percentage of A attainment for students taking Chinese language examination;
LLG opines that other than learning one’s own mother tongue, all students regardless of ethnic groups must proactively learn mother tongue of other ethnic groups, with aim to promote interaction and mutual understanding of each other’s culture, and to promote the concept of “Abundance in Diversity, Prosperity in co-existence” in this multi-ethnic and multicultural society.
Dr. Toh Kin Woon
LLG Cultural Development Centre