Call To Abolish Vernacular Schools Against Federal Constitution – Palanivel

KUALA LUMPUR: — The call to abolish Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools is not a good idea and is against the Federal Constitution, said MIC President Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, Monday.

He said the schools have been in existence for a long time, even before independence, and it is very sad to note that there are still people questioning the existence of vernacular schools.

“We are strongly against it as this is one of the rights under Article 152 of the Federal Constitution, where no person shall be prohibited or prevented from using or from teaching or learning any other language,” he told Bernama.

Palanivel was responding to a suggestion by Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) pro-chancellor Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad’s call to abolish vernacular schools in favour of a single stream school which uses Malay-language as a medium, at a forum, on Sunday.

“We have statistics to show that more than 1,000 Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah Tamil school students have scored 7As and 6As, so it does not matter which type of school a child goes to, they all use the same national syllabus,” he said.

Palanivel also stressed that the contributions of students to the society should be judged by the quality of students, their patriotism and what they give back as contribution to the society.

Echoing similar sentiments, the coordinator for the Action Plan for Future of Tamil Schools, Prof Dr N.S. Rajendran said this kind of stereotyping must stop for the sake of maintaining unity among the multi-racial population of Malaysia.

“Each and every one of us is responsible to promote unity and that includes the life outside of schools. It is just not fair to single out the vernacular schools claiming they work against unity when in reality there are at least five types of schools which exist and continue to grow in Malaysia,” he said.


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