Aaron: Vernacular schools attraction towards unity, not racial divisions

Vernacular schools are not a factor leading towards racial divisions, but instead serve as an attraction towards unity, said Minister of National Unity Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang (pix).

(The Sun Daily) – He said this was proven by the enrolment data for non-Chinese students in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) and non-Indian students in Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil (SJKT) which showed a continuous increase from 2018 to 2023.

“This also shows that national unity can be built anywhere if there is commitment from all parties.

“The ministry has also conducted a Social Deficit Discourse featuring experts in the field last year and the findings show that vernacular schools can no longer be considered as the cause of racial division in society; instead, they should be deemed a platform to nurture and manage social harmony, similar to the role of Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK),” he said in a statement.

He said managing social harmony depends on four factors, namely adaptability, goal, integration, and latency.

“Hence, the vernacular education sector needs to be able to manage all four of these factors to create social order in their schools,” he said.

Aaron also called on all parties to immediately stop the polemics on vernacular schools in the country, as it would shake the spirit of unity and harmony among the people.

He said that in November 2023, the Court of Appeal also ruled that the existence and establishment of vernacular schools and the use of Mandarin and Tamil languages in these schools are constitutional.

“Any effort to abolish those schools is inappropriate and in fact, contradicts the court’s decision that upholds the principles of the Rukun Negara, namely the Supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

“I also fully support the stance of the Minister of Education Fadhlina Sidek, who stated that the Ministry of Education will continue to defend the vernacular education system as it is in line with Section 28 (on the establishment of SK and SJK) of the Education Act 1996,” he said.

Aaron said that his ministry has established the Technical Committee on Rukun Negara Education involving the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE), the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE), and the Ministry of Communications with the aim of reinstating the understanding of the basic principles of Rukun Negara in the national education system.

Aaron said the ministry, in collaboration with MOE and MOHE, has established 6,849 Rukun Negara Clubs (KRN) and 189 Rukun Negara Secretariats (SRN) nationwide to enhance the understanding of the Rukun Negara among the younger generation.

“This year, the ministry, through its agencies, will intensify efforts to promote a deeper understanding of the Rukun Negara among the people so that it becomes a daily practice,” he said.

Among the initiatives to be implemented this year are the Rukun Negara Exploration; Our King, Our Umbrella Programme; Royal Archives Exhibition: Symbols of National Unity, and the Rukun Negara Secretariat Convention.