Chou: Unhappy Jiao Zong has roundtable option with DPM

KUCHING: The United Chinese School Teachers’ Association of Malaysia (Jiao Zong) should avoid resorting to a nationwide signature campaign to protest a new ruling under the Education Blueprint (2013-2025).

Chairman of board of management for Kuching Chung Hua Primary Schools No.1 to 6 Dr Chou Chii Ming said Jiao Zong ought to request for a meeting with Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to iron out issues rather than launch a campaign in rallying the Chinese community against the government.

Under the new ruling which is to be implemented next year, the learning hours for Bahasa Malaysia will be increased from 180 minutes to 270 minutes per week while for English, it will be raised from 120 minutes to 150 minutes.

Jiao Zong recently told the press that it will launch a signature campaign to involve as many aided Chinese primary schools as possible to resist the ruling.

“Jiao Zong should request to meet Deputy Prime Minister (Muhyiddin) and Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) on the issue before launching the signature campaign nationally.

“If the Ministry of Education insists on implementing the ruling, Jiao Zong has no power to stop it. This will, however, stir up extreme ill feelings of the Chinese community towards the federal government,” said Dr Chou when contacted here yesterday.

Presently, there are 1,294 aided Chinese primary schools in Malaysia. Even though the federal government has started allocating grants for these schools in its annual budget, the respective boards of management still have to raise fund for enhancement of facilities.

Chou opined that “not all avenues for negotiations are closed”, hence reiterating that Jiao Zong should make an appeal to see Muhyiddin and Najib before rallying for action.

He said any issues pertaining to education must be deliberated at a roundtable given that the matter concerned not just the development of Chinese schools but also future of the young.

“The issue has to be discussed in a meeting set up by the federal cabinet to reach an agreement acceptable to both sides.”

While the ruling government has every right to implement education policies, Chou said it should not make the mistake of ignoring what the people wanted.

He also called on the federal government to take the view of the Chinese community into account before going full force at implementing any education policies.

“The government had this roundtable approach before the 13th general election to sort out issues affecting the Chinese community. I suggest this to go on to solve thorny education-related issues,” Chou said.

The preliminary report of the Education Blueprint (2013-2025) was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last Sept 11 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

It outlined 11 strategic and operational shifts to transform the education system, which would take place over 13 years with three waves – Wave 1 from 2013 to 2015, Wave 2 (2016-2020) and Wave 3 (2021-2025). –Source