He says that the "presence of different types of schools is a unique feature of the country, which gives it a comparative advantage."
In making this point in an exclusive interview with Nanyang Siang Pau, he said the Government would continue to preserve and protect this aspect of the education system through the National Education Blueprint.Like what he stated a couple of days before that, and blogged by Kian Ming, that's excellent to hear.
“People should not regard the various types of schools in the country as a hurdle to be cleared. After all, this is not a zero-sum game because multiculturalism is an added advantage and a strength for the country.”
Hishammuddin also noted that the existing situation in the country reflected the freedom allowed for the development of vernacular schools as well as other types of schools.
Then the problem I have with the current Government is that, they have made practically no provisions in the 9th Malaysia Plan to "preserve", "protect" or even promote multiculturism in our education system, which has been rightly described as "an added advantage and a strength for the country."
As highlighted in an earlier post, there has been no provisions for any new Chinese or Tamil vernacular primary schools in this country, despite its obvious demands and needs of the various communities (see statistics here). Despite the vociferous protest from all parties, all the Government relented to was the set up of a new Vision school, as well as relocating an existing primary school (which was promised in the 1999 elections). And the time frame in which this will be done is still absolutely unclear.
This is not the first time our Minister of Education has spoken "rationally". I've heard him say exactly the same rational thoughts to an Oxbridge forum almost exactly a year ago. Unfortunately, because the interview was given to a Chinese vernacular press, was the message tailored accordingly to be pleasing to the ear? I for one, hope sincerely that he walks the talk and I wait (with unabated breath, no less) to be pleasantly surprised.
I'll plough through the "new" blueprint once I get my hand on it. Not sure if any comments raised will be futile though - for I did the same with the Zahid Higher Education Report, and it got ditch practically within 6 months after its release!