Monday, March 26, 2012

Uneducated Chinese Educated and the Dong Zong Racists

According to the Malaysian Insider, "Dong Zong sees MOE conspiracy in Chinese teachers shortage",
The United Chinese School Committees Association Dong Zong today accused the Education Ministry of compromising Chinese education by “deliberately” not training enough Chinese school teachers.

Dong Zong president Yap Sin Tian said this was so the government could send in those without SPM Mandarin qualifications to fill the gap.

Yap also said at a protest rally here that the ministry’s apparent motive was to cause a gradual change the identity of Chinese primary schools by shifting the language of administration and medium of instruction.
I always give credit when it is due and I give it to the Malaysian Insider for publishing this in their Side View section, "Dong Zong pushing narrow agenda — Tam YS"

It opens with,
I saw this report by The Star “Dr Wee My duty to listen to problems of the community” and I admit I was saddened by the behaviour, bigotry and immaturity of the Chinese who were present.
and at the end,
Additionally I do not agree that a Bahasa Malaysia teacher in a Chinese school must be Mandarin speaking nor should this be required even for a Mathematics teacher if the teaching medium is in English.

We protest and cry when the Umno provocateurs stir up the racial and religious emotion at every turn but are we any better?

I am happy for the restraint shown by Datuk Wee Ka Siong.
What is most interesting in this Side View is a comment by a person who goes by "tan".

Folks, is the whole issue here about "mother tongue" and "identity" or is it about education?

This statement, "not training enough Chinese school teachers" shows Dong Zong's true colours.

What they really want are not SPM Mandarin qualified teachers but Mandarin speaking "Chinese school teachers" to preserve the identity of Chinese primary schools.

Question, who are those taking Mandarin as a subject in the SPM?

I will make an educated guess: 1. Chinese students 2. Students of other races who excel in Mandarin.

Next question, how many of those from #1 and #2?

See? What the Dong Zong actually want are Chinese teachers because they don't want teachers without SPM Mandarin qualifications to fill the gap.

I came across this blog piece, "My rant on the SPM mandarin subject".

Making an uneducated guess, I think the author is Chinese and makes for some interesting insights.

It starts with,
The SPM Mandarin subject is infamous for it's difficulty in scoring an A.
Why so? Oh, I don't know, Maybe Chinese people just love to give their us Chinese a hard time.
and concludes,
Teacher mentioned that we are the future for the Mandarin subject. Fact is, If I'm still in Malaysia, I wouldn't encourage my child to take that subject.
What does that tell you?

Coming back to the Side View article, whatever happened to this? -

CHINESE EDUCATION IN MALAYSIA: A Reflection of Its Past & Future Direction By Florence Kuek,
Despite these challenges, Chinese schools seek to maintain emphasis on the "Five Aspects of Formal Education in Confucianism (Wuyu Jiaoyu)" namely, moral (de), intellectual (zhi), physical (ti), social (qun) and aesthetic (mei) education. Until today, Chinese schools continue to value discipline, respect for the elderly, courtesy, personal character and morality, rather than marketable skills such as computer literacy, Mathematics and Science.
Going by various reports, products and advocates of Dong Zong Chinese schools have no discipline, no respect for the elderly, no courtesy, no personal character and morality.

All said and done, while we strive and labour to provide our children with proper education in school and further at home or abroad, the following article puts education in a bigger picture -


Dr Tan Yao Sua

In the final analysis, the central challenge of educational language policy that aims at fostering national integration in plural societies is to bring about unity within diversity.

Seen in this light, the Alliance government has certainly done the right thing by providing transitional bilingual education to the Chinese in Malaysia. This would allow them to maintain their language amidst a shift to Malay. Such an educational provision echoes the view of Stephen May who maintains that “individuals should be allowed to benefit from the currency of a dominant language and while also, at the same time being allowed to "stay-put‟ with respect to their own first language(s)”. All in all, the provision of transitional bilingual education to the Chinese in Malaysia augurs well for the nation building process where minority linguistic rights are accommodated within the larger interests of the majority group.

*Pic from Sundaily report "Chinese education problems: Real solutions needed"


Anonymous said...


I was from Chinese school. This was quite some time ago.

The teacher teaching BM was Malay . There was none chinese teachers taught malay in my all 6 years of primary education.

I did not encounter any problem so as my school mates. (Although I do remember the classroom pronounce buah ciku as buah cikgu to the teacher (Male))

However, the subject of Mathematics should be taught by chinese teachers. It is not practical otherwise. In the national school the teachers are bilingual, hence this should be the same for teachers teaching Math in chinese school.

As for Mandarin, yes it is a very difficult subject in secondary level.

The reality is this, most of the chinese who send their kids to chinese school at primary level end up sending their kids to "National" school in the secondary level.

Therefore, the issue of not be able to built a cohesive society just because of chinese or indian primary schools, I think it is not right.

Canadian speak french and English, yet they did not lose their identity.

There are not many chinese or Indian school at secondary level.

Therefore emphasis should be given at secondary level to ensure that those who went to vernacular schools are able to blend well at the secondary level.


Kritz said...

Interesting to find the blog post that I've written 2 years ago appear here.

Having studied in a Chinese primary school, I have no problem with a BM teacher that doesn't speak Mandarin.

I'm not clear about the current situation in Chinese primary schools now, but the last I heard, subjects like Mathematics and Science were taught in 2 different languages simultaneously.

I don't see the threat of having non-Mandarin subjects to be taught by non-Mandarin speakers, especially since majority of the teachers in Chinese primary schools ARE in fact, still Mandarin speakers.

Preserving identity? More like limiting exposure that will be helpful for the students that will eventually leave Chinese primary schools for national schools.

Freddie Kevin said...

Dear Kritz,

Truly apologise for a very very late response.

I am not for vernacular schools and hope in time these schools will be phased out from Govt assistance.

If any nationality needs to retain their mother tongue for medium of instruction, let it be self funding.

Don't see what language has to do with an ethnic identity.

Any language, other than BM as the principle medium of instruction and English as compulsory, should only be a learning subject.

Vernacular schools are a definite national integration relevant to the times, in my honest opinion.

It is a political rather than educational issue.

Also, I am for Math and Science taught in English, more pros than cons in further education, acquiring and pursuing scientific and technological knowledge.

Too long to eleborate so I will leave it at that.