Education ministry remains committed to strengthen vernacular schools

PUCHONG: The Education Ministry is committed to strengthening vernacular schools and has taken note of calls for a review of the vernacular education system.

Its minister Fadhlina Sidek said the government remains steadfast to upholding the Education Act 1996.

The commitment, she said, also includes recognition of vernacular schools within the national education framework.

"We hear those views. But for today, the ministry's position is to stand firm and strengthen the Education Act and these vernacular schools.

"And vernacular schools, as I have stressed before, are recognised by the Education Act and we will carry on with that stance," she said during a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Saujana Putra, Jenjarom, here as the school session opens its doors for 2024/2025.

On Saturday, Umno Youth chief Dr Akmal Salleh called for a reassessment of the vernacular education system amid growing concerns over the polarisation and lack of cohesion among the country's multi-ethnic population.

He said the assessment needed to be conducted as the escalating tension stemmed from a system of separation and segregation implemented from the most basic levels of society, starting from schools.

Akmal then reiterated that the call for a comprehensive assessment by incorporating national values and proficiency in the Malay language as the national language is not intended to 'eliminate' the teaching of Chinese or Tamil languages from schools.

Meanwhile, Fadhlina added that the ministry has plans to strengthen the use of the Malay language in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (SJKC).

"This is indeed our major agenda. Because in today's situation, the national language is still a priority.

Our commitment is also to strengthen the English language."

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