Chinese schools deserve more for its contributions

Tuesday June 26, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/6/26/sarawak/11546609&sec=sarawak

SIBU: The 14 Chinese private secondary schools in Sarawak incur a total deficit of about RM5mil in operational costs annually.

This huge burden had to be borne by the Chinese themselves, according to Wong Nai Siong Secondary School board chairman, Temenggong Vincent Lau.

He said they had repeatedly requested for a systematic annual allocation to these schools from the Government but had yet to get positive response .

“This is because the schools had chosen not to change their education system,” he said.

He pointed out that the schools had been playing a key role in national development all these years by nurturing a lot of talents in various fields though they were not in the country’s mainstream education system.

These institutions had also been providing an alternative secondary education apart from the government-aided schools, he said.

“Over the years we have faced so many problems and limitations in running our schools, but our insistence on providing education in our mother tongue has never faded,” he said.

To him, this showed that the Chinese would continue to promote their language wherever they live because they perceive that culture is the root of a race.

“The Chinese private schools are able to survive simply because the Chinese support them financially,” he said.

That said, he regretted that some quarters saw the schools as stumbling blocks to attaining racial unity though they have existed for over half a century.

He cited former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad as an example of an individual with such an opinion.

“He said permission given by the Government to different ethnic groups to set up their own schools have split the country’s youths.

“He also said that a completely uncommunicable community would be produced if the Government recognised Chinese education and the Unified Education Certificate (UEC).”

He, therefore, described Tun Mahathir’s contention that Chinese-medium schools were to be blamed for the disharmony among the people as too harsh and unfair.

“We disagree with that line of thought. We cannot look at things from a shallow point of view in a world globalised by the advancement of information-communication technology,” he said during Wong Nai Siong Secondary School’s 45th anniversary, Teachers Day, and thanksgiving dinner.