Thursday, 21 February 2013

Happy feet – A school shoe outreach program

Happy Feet is a nationwide community driven initative aiming to assist poor Tamil school students to get a pair of school shoes, two pair of socks and a shoe whitener costing about RM41 at market price as a contribution from the community. This programme is intended to reduce the burden of the poor family and not to take the whole responsibility of buying the complete set of uniform. More than RM21,000 of public funds has been collected for this programme and The Educational, Welfare And Research Foundation (EWRF) was appointed as an independent Auditor to ensure the public fund is spent with highest integrity. Overall 12% of Tamil Schools in Malaysia (63/523) has been received school shoes and this could be the biggest initiative done by loose group of volunteers not attached to any organization for Tamil Schools in Malaysia. On february 17th, kedah volunteers from The Mind organisation led by Dr.Vinayagamoorthy has visited nine Tamil schools in Kuala Ketil area to distribute school shoes to needy pupils. SJKT Ladang Kuala Muda HD, SJKT Ladang Katumba, SJKT Ladang Dublin 7, SJKT Ladang Kuala Ketil, SJKT Ladang Sungai Bongkok, SJKT Ladang Kim Seng, SJKT Ladang Malakoff, SJKT Ladang Badenoh, SJKT Ladang Binjol are the nine targeted Tamil schools which received school shoes from ‘The MIND’ organisation. The organisation hopes that these kind of activities will build a bridge of network between Tamil schools and the NGO to get closer on issues surrounding Tamil schools.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

National Education Blueprint sidelines vernacular education system

 The Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2025 is said to be ‘frank and bold’ and purports to propel Malaysian education system to world class standard. Education activist say it however overlooks an ‘unintended consequence’ as the blueprint would result in marginalising and destroying multi-lingual education” The blueprint states that the ultimate objective is for the National schools to be the school of choice such that interactions between students of different socioeconomic, religious and ethnic backgrounds naturally occur in school. The rational is to achieve national unity by getting the children of all races to go to national schools. A substantial number of children are enrolled in vernacular schools (about 96 per cent of the Chinese children and 56 per cent of the Tamil children go to Chinese and Tamil medium schools). The parents of all these children want mother tongue education for their children for the building and the preservation of cultural heritage, identity and dignity. The advisor of Tamil Foundation K Arumugam demands the relevant authorities of the government should put the education blueprint to public debate and seriously consider the economic, social and political benefits of multi-lingualism and multi-culturalism in this country.