Saturday, August 13, 2005

Student Unity: Hype or Hope?

The (what I called) Racial Integration & Malaysian Unity Programme (RIMUP) or otherwise known officially as "Rancangan Integrasi Murid Untuk Perpaduan" appears to be having a good start, having received some encouraing response from schools. Read about the initiation of this program on my blog post: "Student Unity: Light at the End of the Tunnel?".

The New Straits Times on Sunday, 7th August reported that RIMUP is receiving some "hot reception" with 150 vernacular and national schools expected to participate by year’s end.
RIMUP involves grouping together Tamil and Chinese schools with national schools to allow them to conduct joint co-curricular, sports and academic related activities.

Rimup is currently being conducted in four schools in Mantin — SJKC Chung Hua Mantin, SK Mantin, SJKT Cairo Mantin and SMK Mantin.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim, who is in charge of implementing RIMUP was obviously pleased with the initial response to date. He claimed that:
...150 schools were suggested to be included in Rimup by Members of Parliaments who were interested in getting schools in their areas to participate.

"The figure does not include the schools which the Ministry is concurrently identifying to be included in Rimup, so indications are good."

Under the programme, schools which are grouped would form a joint committee to carry out joint activities for their pupils under five categories: academic excellence; sports and games; festivals and assemblies; camps and visits; and social service.
There are 5,756 national primary schools nationwide with an enrolment of 2,304,378; in addition to 1,287 national type Chinese primary schools with 331,481 pupils and 525 Tamil primary schools with 48,187 pupils.

So, is this the start of much improved racial relations in the coming years? Or is the Minister too eager to announce "impressive" statistics? For the benefit of the students in this country, I really hope that by the end of the year, concrete programmes have indeed been carried out and these "150 schools" have indeed organised activities to bring the students of various races together.

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