However, is it a surprise that Malaysians, particularly the non-Malay community are avoiding the national schools like plague, and deserting them for overcrowded vernacular schools? I've written plenty on the increasing "Islamisation" of our purportedly secular national schools, as being one of the key factors.
Now, even as mother tongue programmes have yet to be fully implemented in the schools, you will find bungling headmasters and education department officials implementing the most clumsy of policies like forcing Indian students in a school to take Arabic lessons and sit for the corresponding examinations!
Parents of Indian students of SK Sri Baki in Senawang are upset that their children, who are in Year One, were forced to take Arabic in school. Many of the pupils were forced to sit for the examinations even though there were no classes for the first six months, reported Malaysia Nanban.When parents complained to the Headmaster, the Headmaster blamed the State Education Department. The officer in-charge of languages, Ustaz Hafizi of the State Education Department was queried, he argued that "headmasters were compelled to introduce Tamil, Chinese or Arabic to children of other communities."
The school had said that Arabic was a compulsory subject and the children had to sit for the paper.
Are these people even competent? Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, our dearest Minister of Education, is this your vision of the future of our national schools? How can you blame the vernacular schools for apparently causing national disunity, and the non-Malay community for their fears and paranoia, when the exalted "school of choice" for all Malaysians so obviously marginalises the non-Malay communities?