KUCHING (July 29): The Sarawak United Association of Chinese School Boards of Management (Sha Dong Zong) regrets that the Ministry of Education (MoE) has insisted Chinese independent secondary schools (Du Zhong) comply with the National Education policy to have Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) recognised.
In a statement yesterday, Sha Dong Zong said MoH had adhered to such a stand since the early 60s against the will of the Chinese community.
“Senior Minister Senator Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin has not been in touch with the Chinese community since appointed as Education Minister. Neither has he visited Chinese schools to learn what the Chinese community expects of Chinese education.
“Back then, Du Zhong refused to be transformed into government-aided schools. The legality of these Chinese schools stands despite not changing their medium of instruction.
“As the Education Minister, Mohd Radzi has not looked into the history and development of Du Zhong but gave a routine report in the Dewan Rakyat. This clearly reflects disregard towards the trend of multi-cultural development,” lamented Sha Dong Zong.
The statement was issued in response to Mohd Radzi’s recent Parliamentary reply that the federal government will recognise UEC only if Du Zhong complies with the National Education policy.
According to Sha Dong Zong, Du Zhong has existed and developed across Malaysia for six decades though the government’s education policy and education-related view remained the same as 60 years ago.
“The Education Act 1996 in force for 26 years no longer meets the requirements and expectations of the people particularly in our multi-ethnic society that embraces inclusivity.
“We want to tell Mohd Radzi that the Education Act is neither just nor reasonable and people want to see a change about this,” pointed out Sha Dong Zong.
Asserting that the Chinese community in Malaysia remains the top tax-paying group, Sha Dong Zong said it would hurt the community if the government denies allocating funds for Du Zhong but goes to the extent of depriving these schools their rights to exist.
Sha Dong Zong stressed that UEC credentials held by Du Zhong students are recognised by universities abroad.
“UEC is globally recognised not because Chinese language is the medium of instruction but for its academic standards,” it stated.
For years, the Chinese community has requested the federal government to grant full recognition for UEC and admit Du Zhong students into local public universities, said Sha Dong Zong.
“History tells us that those in power should not make a fool of the people. We hope that we won’t be hearing ‘What more do the Chinese want?’ again,” Sha Dong Zong added.