“If the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure,
so is their land.” – Nichiren (1222 – 1282)
Back to basics: Is our education system helping us unite?
Upon independence, we inherited from the British a segregated system of schooling with different orientations and levels of academic achievement. Now more than five decades later, how far have we moved on?
Our forefathers placed Unity highly in the nation’s agenda when they wrote the educational road map. The aim is to integrate the various school systems into one national system that would be acceptable to all while preserving the languages and cultures of all communities.
However, as a matter of political compromise, we opted to retain the multilingual streams in the education system as a short term solution. Nonetheless, it did not stop our education system from growing and bridging the academic gaps between the urban/rural and ethnic divisions. As a result, the number of students in all levels of education increased greatly.
But the political bargain has allowed national Unity to take a back seat. Today our young children are separated with the majority of Chinese and Tamils educated at vernacular schools while the national schools are becoming more monoethnic, with the Malays dominating. The growing number of Sekolah Agama adds on another element of separation. Our children are separated during one of the most crucial formative years in their lives setting a nation that grew up with distinct socialisation processes from the other.
Is this good for Unity? Is this what we want? Where do we go from here?
Should we rise above politics and go back to basics as planned by our forefathers?
Or, if we opt for the status quo, can we make our national schools appealing enough to all Malaysians by adopting a more holistic approach coupled with good quality?
Do we have the political will to choose what is right, what is best? Can we rise above ourselves for the sake of our children?
Five decades in the future, how do we want to feel when we reflect upon our actions and choices today?
Will we stand proud saying that we had the courage to make a painful choice, we went back to basics and it made all the difference?
What should we do?
At zubedy, our programs draw strength from shared values and traditions. We believe that at heart, all Malaysians want good things for themselves and for their brother and sister Malaysians, simply because our nation cannot prosper as a whole if some of us are left behind.
Let us be first and foremost Malaysians.
Let us add value,
Have A Meaningful Wesak