Are Malaysians who send kids to international schools also ‘not nationalistic’? DAP MP asks deputy Youth minister

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 16, 2020. Teo, a former deputy education minister when Pakatan Harapan was in power, accused the Perikatan Nasional (PN) deputy minister of ‘targeting’ vernacular schools in the country for abolition on the basis that they were not using the national language as the medium of instruction. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching is pictured at Parliament in Kuala Lumpur July 16, 2020. Teo, a former deputy education minister when Pakatan Harapan was in power, accused the Perikatan Nasional (PN) deputy minister of ‘targeting’ vernacular schools in the country for abolition on the basis that they were not using the national language as the medium of instruction. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching wants to know if Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal will recommend “phasing out” international schools in Malaysia for not using the national curriculum, just as he has been calling for vernacular schools here.

Teo, a former deputy education minister when Pakatan Harapan was in power, accused the Perikatan Nasional (PN) deputy minister of “targeting” vernacular schools in the country for abolition on the basis that they were not using the national language as the medium of instruction.

“International schools do not even use the national curriculum,” she pointed out in a statement.

She asked Wan Fayhsal if he would campaign for the eventual abolition of international schools, questioning too his intention in singling out vernacular schools.

“Also, will Wan Fayhsal say that students in International Schools, or their parents who send their kids to International Schools, are not also nationalistic?” she asked.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal, who was recently made Bersatu Youth chief, claimed earlier today that vernacular schools had failed students with a strong national identity and suggested they should be abolished for being an obstacle to national unity.

Teo panned Wan Ahmad Fayhsal’s renewal pushing for the abolition of vernacular schools as irresponsible, especially during Merdeka month when focus should be given on patriotism.

She said vernacular school did not cater to only one race and identity as alleged by certain groups and cited official statistics on education to support her assertion.

She said non-Chinese enrolment in vernacular Chinese primary schools (SJKC) were 18 per cent, adding that in Sabah, it was even higher at 71.5 per cent.

“One good example is SJKC Ladang Grisek, recently officiated by Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong, 68 per cent of the students are non-Chinese.

“Is the Deputy Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal saying, all students from vernacular schools, including the Bumiputera students, are not nationalistic?

“Is he also implying that all these parents, thousands of them who send their children to vernacular schools are not nationalistic? Not patriotic?” Teo asked.

She said such an assumption was “dangerous”, adding that even students from vernacular schools could significantly contribute to nation building.

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