Calls to abolish vernacular schools not about BM, but racism, says Ramasamy

The calls to abolish vernacular schools has nothing to do with language proficiency or the level of education they provide, but are instead driven by racist perceptions towards these institutions.

(FMT) – Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy said that the long-running debate, reignited this week by Bersatu’s youth wing and a lawsuit filed by three Malay students groups, is fueled by a lack of acceptance of Malay not being the primary mode of instruction in these schools.

“Over the years, vernacular schools have become more integrated with the national system of education,” he said, contrary to some who paint these institutions as outsiders in the system.

The DAP leader said there is “no basis whatsoever” to allegations that vernacular school students lack Malay proficiency, as pushed by Bersatu Youth information chief Mohd Ashraf Mustaqim Badrul Munir.

“This is a wild allegation that is not backed up with facts and figures. Even students in the national schools suffer from the lack of proficiency not only in Malay but also in English.

“The major weakness of our education system is the lack of proficiency in English in both the categories of schools,” Ramasamy said.

He added that there are good and bad students in schools of all kinds, and that it was “unfair” to single out students from vernacular schools.

“It is not that those who push this argument don’t know about the reality on the ground. Instead, it is their stubbornness in not accepting the reality of the positive contribution of vernacular schools.

“More and more Malay parents are sending their children to Chinese primary schools. Isn’t this an acknowledgement that they are good?

“It is well and good for politicians to call for the abolition of vernacular schools, but I wonder where they send their children.

“If they are super rich, it is either London or Paris (or international schools).”

Ramasamy said without vernacular schools, Malaysia cannot achieve true diversity and tolerance, and these “indisputable” parts of Malaysia were “here to stay for a very, very long time.”