The Post of Solemnity (3) - Single Stream Education System?

As I was chatting with dad about the politics and current issues, it struck me hard when he said about single stream education system, proposed by many. Then I remembered the issue when Sekolah Menengah Perlis here has some issues about the principal or something. Then I think to myself:"Seriously? Are you (not my dad) kidding me? How on earth do you (not my dad) think messing with our current education system gonna do you (not my dad) any good?!"

As an introduction (copied from here), our multi-stream educational system is found only in Malaysia. Our present system of education - multi stream, Bahasa Melayu, English, Tamil and Chinese - stream system has been adopted by our Founding Fathers, introducing an education system which was uniform and catered for the interests of our multi-racial country.

Then, there came this statement from Dr. CD Chua's blog: It is very simplistic to think that a single stream of education system will ensure racial interaction, harmony and unity.


OK, I need to admit though. I went to Chinese national-type primary and secondary school. I studied Mandarin, English and Malay in my school, Malaysia history in the History class, Malaysia geography in geography class, and some other subjects you can refer to your own UPSR, PMR and SPM result slip. Because of this, my friends are mostly Chinese, and out of, what, 97% of the Malay population in Kelantan, I only know a handful of Malays, and a quarter of them works at my late grandfather's stationery shop. My Kelantanese dialect sounds extremely awkward because I hardly practice it, but I have to say my Malay sounds superd :) ; I was a little racist because of those Malay brats who kept harassing my dogs and other dogs in the neighborhood, and those mental-handicapped pakciks who lured around the small road where I cycled and sometimes would flash themselves at me and my friends; I thought I would be awkward with Malay people but I did manage to make some Malay friends during the MSSM Volleyball tournament.

Then after SPM, I went to Politeknik Shah Alam, where, for the first time in my life, I had been surrounded by majority Malays and there were only three Chinese (later became two as one transferred to other course) in the class and a Sabahan. I did feel a little awkward, especially when they wow-ed about me coming from Kelantan, and teased me completely when I speak my awkward Kelantanese dialect - I was nicknamed 'Kelantan celup', which means a Kelantanese who doesn't speak Kelantan. 'Celup' means dip. I teased myself:"Yeah well, my parents 'celup' (dipped) me in Kelantan River, and that's make me a Kelantanese :) What to do~~"

Anyway, the moral of my story is, even if I came from Chinese schools, I do not have any problem at all mixing around non-Chinese friends. One of Politeknik's dorm's rules is that they don't mix races in one room, the Malay stays with Malays and so on. I stayed with my fellow Malay coursemates during the final year in Poli; and I stayed with my coursemates and Malays throughout my university years. Despite the fact that I have been, not completely, out of the Malay society for the first 17 years of my life, I know more of the Malay cultures and religion habits etc than some of the friends do. Well, I don't know all, but some of the things that I think it would be a common sense to know about, it's just not so common for some people.

So, talking about this single stream schooling thing.

After the election, I have been checking out FaceBook updates on everything, and sometimes lured into the Dear Leader Prime Minister's page to read the comments. I do see racism comments and a lot of protest comments. Some opposition supporters did talk about the single stream education 'for the forsaken sake of racial unity', and one of the funniest comment: "1 aliran dan 2 kantin" - single stream with two canteens.

Are you effing kidding me?

Look at the Chinese schools. Look at the canteen. Look at the children eating there. Look at how the canteen staffs prepare the food. Two canteens?

Besides that, what makes you think multi-stream education system does not help in racial interaction? I do not study the history of China in school; I don't think the history of India is taught in the Tamil school; I definitely sure we sit on the same exam, answering the same History paper in SPM, nationwide; my Malay subject teacher was the most sarcastic person I had ever met, he is a Chinese and he speaks damn fluent Malay.

So, my suggestion: for those who supports the idea of single stream education system, if it is implemented and we are all in the very same stream of education, studying the same subjects side by side and sitting in the very same exams, let me ask you just few things:
(1) Are you ready to open admission for non-bumiputra to MRSMs?
(2) Are you ready to open MARA scholarship applications for all Malaysian, regardless of bumi or non-bumi?
(3) Are you ready to open admission for non-bumi to UiTM?
(4) Are you ready to abolish the so-called quota system and accept students to public universities and by their choice of courses according to their qualification and performance?

However, of course not. Who am I kidding with? The Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia is there to safeguard the special position of the Bumiputras.

I can't agree with them more about how hard to maintain a Chinese school, seeing the hardship and workload of my friends as teachers, but bottom line is, there is no way I am agreeing with single stream schooling.


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