Dong Zong recently challenged BN and Pakatan Harapan. It wanted BN to institutionalize allocations for Chinese secondary schools and independent high schools when tabling the upcoming Budget, while at the same time urged PH to fulfil its pledge of unconditionally recognizing the UEC certificate if it wins the next general elections.
General elections are just around the corner and Dong Zong has made the pleas with the hope of resolving the problem of UEC recognition which has been delayed for so long, together with the issue of allocations for Chinese schools.
PM cum finance minister Najib Razak will table the 2018 Budget in Dewan Rakyat on October 27. And since it will be the last budget to be tabled before GE14, it is widely anticipated that there will be candies to be distributed. All that the Chinese community asks for is a long-term allocation mechanism to assist Chinese secondary schools and independent high schools, not uncertain one-off allocations.
Independent Chinese high schools require large amounts of funds to sustain their continued operations, and institutionalizing allocations will have positive impact on these schools’ development.
Even though independent Chinese high schools have churned out large numbers of high caliber talents for the country all these years, they have failed to secure institutionalized funding from the government, impeding their day-to-day operations and long-term development.
The government should appreciate the contribution of these schools in grooming talented young Malaysians by institutionalizing allocations for these schools so as to relieve their financial burden.
In the meantime, UEC recognition is another thing that should not be delayed any further.
Supporters of Chinese language education in this country have been fighting so hard for UEC recognition all these years, and indeed there have been interactions between the two sides. Unfortunately the “last one mile” can never be finished and UEC recognition remains an inaccessible dream to many.
The standards of UEC have been widely recognized elsewhere in the world, and many foreign universities accept UEC as one of the criteria for admission. Perhaps our government should look into this from the academic point of view.
These aside, the Chinese community is also concerned about the construction of more Chinese primary schools in the country.
Chinese primary schools constitute an integral part of the national education system and by right should get equal attention from the government.
In many Chinese-majority urban areas, it is no more a new issue that Chinese primary schools are filled to the brim. To meet ever growing demands from parents and students, the government should consider institutionalizing the systematic construction of new Chinese primary schools in order to resolve the problem of overcrowding while providing a more conducive learning environment for students.
PM Najib has said the government is prepared to build new Chinese schools in places experiencing rapid growth in population. While the promise has come as a welcome relief, it is hoped that the government will honor its pledge and turn the verbal promise into real action as soon as possible.
The government must understand that promoting the development of Chinese language education in this country will only have positive effects on the country.