Education is not politics. Education is not about race. Education is not about Business. Education is about our young and how they can contribute towards nation building.
Education is not about politics. You do not use education to churn out an endless supply of dumb down Malays who will vote for Umno. You do not allow education policies to be made by politicians without inputs from teachers and students. The focus should be on students. Education is not about religion. You do not use education to make the Malays more obedient Muslims who will follow what Muftis and Jakim tell them to do. You do not use education to get the schools to get rid of crosses to win over close-minded Muslims. Education is not about business. You do not use education to enrich your self or your cronies who are given fat contracts and tenders having to do with education.
These abuses have been perpetrated by Barisan Nasional for far too long. Today the decline of education in Malaysia is real, is tangible and remains the most worrying of our nation’s ill. Teachers are beginning to question if teaching can still be the noble profession it once was.
There are so much need and opportunity in Malaysia today for our young to take up the challenge of Nation Building. Where are the young Malaysians who can think critically? Where are our young who want to earn a decent and meaningful living? How do we get our young into the economy? Why is the potential for the young to do good being wasted?
Their potential is being wasted because our education system has not made them ready for these challenges. We are now a nation at risk! More worrying, our students are at risk because they have not been made ready to contribute towards nation-building.
The young that we now have are bereft of character. They lack common decency. Whether Malay or English, they cannot use appropriate language. They do not have appropriate behavior and lack communication and social skills. Do not know right from wrong. They have not much integrity.
If there is to be any yardstick by which this decline is to be measured against, none can be more worrying then the real decline of mission schools in Malaysia.
Do you remember those days when mission schools, for good reasons, were popular with parents? These schools, started by British missionaries, numbered in the hundreds in peninsular Malaysia and in Sabah and Sarawak. They have educated many Malaysians. Prime ministers, ministers, corporate captains, and distinguished Malaysians in all fields. Mission schools like Penang Free School, St John’s Institution, Convent Bukit Nanas, St Michael’s and Methodist Girls’ School of Ipoh fostered unity. Race and religion was never an issue. There certainly was no racial or religious divide. Like all the premier schools in Malaysia, tradition, and continuity was paramount in these mission schools.
But today, the decline of these mission schools is in tandem with the decline of education in Malaysia.
A decade ago the number of Malays, Chinese, and Indians in these mission schools could be equally divided. Today the ration is more like 70/30 with 70% being Malays, This ratio is also reflected in the number of Malays to non-Malays teachers. Increasingly the non-Malay student and non-Malay teachers are being marginalized and will be pushed out of these schools by Malay students and Malay teachers. The Malays are left to compete among themselves. Malay students will be taught by Malay teachers. It does not take Einstein to figure out where the standard of our education will be a generation from now.! In schools today, students doing History and Geography now only learn Malaysian History and Malaysian Geography. They don’t know early civilizations and cultures of different nations. You have dumb down Malay students coming out of a dumb down education system coming out to work in a dumb-down Malay dominated work market competing among other dumb down Malays. A sure recipe for a dumb down Malay “elites” who are in business, government and politics.
What will that mean a generation from now? See the Malay students around you today. See the Malay young coming into the job market. See their Malay bosses. See the Malay politicians. See the Malay ministers and of course the Malay DPM and PM! Those able to think for themselves know that the Malays do not have a hope in hell to defend themselves against the Nons, what more to progress ahead and succeed in the work market locally and globally. It does not look good for the Malays does it?