Umno Youth urges review on vernacular schools

UMNO Youth has called for a comprehensive assessment of vernacular schools, an in-depth study into improvements to the national education system, and plans for an integrative education model based on common values and a sense of belonging.

The measures are in a three-part plan outlined by Umno Youth leader Akmal Salleh to strengthen racial harmony and national unity.

Akmal said Umno Youth would propose a single schooling system to the government to foster racial harmony.

He said it was Umno Youth’s view that racial tension stemmed from segregation at schools. “It is time for Malaysia to put an end to this segregation and divide,” he said. “There is no shortcut to achieve unity. It is a long, winding and challenging road, but it begins with a single step.”

He said there should be a comprehensive assessment of the syllabus of vernacular schools, including the level of mastery of Bahasa Malaysia. He said the study would involve more than 1,800 national-type schools.

An in-depth study of improvements to the national education system was also needed to woo schoolchildren from all communities to attend national schools.

He called for a medium- and long-term plan towards creating a more integrative education model based on common values and a sense of belonging, without sidelining the rights to conserve mother tongues.

Akmal said Malaysians had been segregated from a young age because of vernacular schools, and Umno Youth would hold a nationwide debate session on the re-establishment of single-stream schools.

Last week, Bukit Bendera MP Syerleena Abdul Rashid of DAP said that Umno Youth should understand why parents are reluctant to send their children to national schools before mooting a single schooling system. She said among the reasons were poor infrastructure, a lack of teachers, and inadequate resources.