Friday, 21 February 2014

A slap for detractors of vernacular schools - FMT

February 20, 2014
FMT LETTER: From S Param, via e-mail
Tamil is said to be one of the longest surviving languages in the world. It has been described as
the only language of contemporary India which is recognisably continuous with classical past and having one of the richest literature in the world. Tamil literature has existed for over 2000 years
and the earliest epigraphic records are said to be found on rock edits and hero stones dating to
5th century BC.
The Sangam  litterature which has been described as the earliest period of Tamil literature is said
to be dated from ca.300 BC- AD 300. Tamil language inscriptions written c.1st century BC and
2nd century AD have been discovered in Eygpt, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The variety and quality of
classical Tamil literature has led to its being described as one of the great classical traditions and literature of the world.(Wikepedia)
Malaysia is one of the few countries outside of India that has provided a conducive environment and support for this oldest language in the world to flourish. The existence of more than 500 odd Tamil primary schools in the country many of which are fully aided by the state is a testimony of the government’s sincere effort in promoting and sustaining the language among the Tamil speaking population.
The recent announcements of the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that several new Tamil schools
will be built and more funds will be made available for Tamil schools indicates the  government’s willingness in meeting the Indian community’s desire to improve Tamil language education in the country. Despite the many political challenges it is indeed heartening to note that the government
is steadfast in its promise to safeguard the existence of vernacular schools in the country.
The Indian community especially the Tamil speaking Indians and others who have shown great interest and support for the language are indeed grateful to the PM for the financial pledge and
support. This augurs well for the government and the future of Tamil schools in the country.
MIC which has been in the fore front in championing the Tamil schools issues for ages should
take the lead by setting up a special committee comprising of academics, community leaders and 
NGOs to draw up a blueprint for Tamil education. This special committee should among others
also look into the recent proposal to set up the first Tamil   Secondary School in the country.
Having said that the time has come for those who take pride in Tamil language to join forces to
stand up against certain individuals who are calling for the abolishment of Tamil schools in the country. It is understandable those who are not familiar with Tamil and its contribution to the world
and the Indian community at large to perceive it differently. However, it is indeed saddening to note another Indian who happened to be a BN coalition party leader painting a very negative picture of
Tamil schools in country.
I don’t know what this particular politician is up to. He has been known in the past to stir up unnecessary issues with regards to Tamil schools. This time around his moronic statements about Tamil schools has somewhat riled up the Indian community. However the timely intervention of the
PM in favour of Tamil schools recently has somewhat help to neutralise the issue. Many view the
PM’s announcement of incentives and financial allocation to Tamil schools as a slap to those who
are calling for the abolishment of vernacular schools.
The time has come for the government to view those who are calling for the closure of Tamil and Chinese school as seditious. Appropriate legal action should be taken against such individuals or groups as it is a deliberate attempt to stir up ill-feelings and tension among the multi-racial peace loving population.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

பிரதமரின் பொய்யான வாக்குறுதி!

Putrajaya shoots down Tamil secondary school proposal in Penang

FEBRUARY 19, 2014
The Penang government today expressed disappointment that its application to set up the first Tamil secondary school in the country in Bagan Dalam in Butterworth has been rejected.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic) said the state's sincere offer to set aside a piece of land for the building of the school was not considered by Putrajaya or Barisan Nasional's Indian-based party, MIC.
"We are only asking for one Tamil secondary school in the whole country. It will not jeopardise anyone.
Lim said he will make an appeal to Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, before taking the matter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Asked what other options the state has in pursuing the matter further apart from going to Muhyiddin or Najib, Lim said the state cannot do much as the setting up of the school, even as a private institution, would require a license from Putrajaya.
"We also would not have the funds," said Lim, who is the Bagan MP.
The state was informed via a letter dated January 8 from Education Department director-general Datuk Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof that there are no provision under the Education Act 1996 for the setting up Tamil secondary schools.
The letter stated that the act only provides for national secondary schools to cater to the education needs of all races in the country.
Lim said he wrote to the ministry last year about the application several times, explaining that a Tamil secondary school will cater to the education needs of the Indian community in Bagan Dalam, which makes up 24% of the total constituents, but the state never received feedback until Khair's letter.
He said Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan was not telling the truth when he reportedly denied receiving any letters about the application from the Penang government.
"He said there were no letters from Penang, but then the education department has actually sent us a reply. Kamalanathan should not lie," he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy, who is also state education exco, said the state had even appealed to BN parties to put politics aside and give their support for the setting up the school.
However, he said even the Indian-based parties did not voice their support and it was the Chinese educationist group Dong Zong that backed the state's proposal instead.
"I think the federal government fears that this will set a precedent and other places may request for Tamil secondary schools too," he said.
To this, Lim quipped: "No. I think if we have it in Penang, then they can forget about Penang." – February 19, 2014.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Support Tamil primary schools, parents urged

THE PENANG Hindu Association is urging the Indian community to help support Tamil primary schools by sending their children there.
Association deputy president P. Murugiah said there had been a reduction in the number of pupils enrolled in Tamil primary schools.
“The existence of Tamil primary schools is due to the support given by parents who send their children to these schools,” he told a press conference at the association’s booth in conjunction with Thaipusam celebrations in Scotland Road on Friday.
Penang Tamil Schools Special Committee chairman Datuk Dr K. Anbalakan said that at present, there were 28 Tamil primary schools in Penang.
“Twenty-one of the schools are located on the mainland while seven are on the island,” he added.
“Of the schools on the mainland, about 16 of them are in estates.
“The low enrolment in these schools is partly because many estate dwellers keep moving to bigger towns, where their children will attend schools closer to their homes there,” he explained.
It was the responsibility of the Federal Government to find land to relocate Tamil schools from the estates to town, he said.
Dr Anbalakan added that there was a need for a Tamil secondary school in Penang.
“Those who would like to further their Tamil studies from primary school level are unable to do so at the moment.
“They can further their Tamil studies at only university level,” Dr Anbalakan said.
“Tamil language should be included in the main academic curriculum in schools and not just be taught as an elective subject after school hours, as practised in some schools.
“Some schools even leave it to their headmasters to decide whether Tamil language should be taught,” he added.
Murugiah said the association had submitted a petition containing 10,000 signatures to Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan on Nov 28 requesting for a Tamil secondary school to be built in Penang.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Under-the-trees learning for these Tamil children

11:16AM Jan 3, 2014

Under-the-trees learning for these Tamil children

Some 20 students of the Seaport Tamil primary school (SJK Tamil Seaport) are spending their school days this year studying, on their own, under trees on the open ground as their parents demand the re-opening of the Kelana Jaya school that was abruptly shut down late last month.

The parents are refusing to accept the Education Ministry’s relocation order on the 80-year-old Tamil school to a new block in Kampung Lindungan in Subang that has been given the same name, which they say is too far away and inconvenient for them.

"If this school goes, there will be no vernacular Tamil school in Kelana Jaya and Lembah Subang at all," school’s Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) chairperson V Kumar said today.

Rising living costs, Kumar said, would mean that many of the parents, who are low income earners, would not be able to afford the daily 9km journey to send and pick up their children from the new school building.

The parents also pointed to difficulties securing school bus transportation to send their children to the new school.

The ministry had told the parents that the Kelana Jaya land, which belongs to state government body Selangor State Development Authority (PKNS), was been sold to a private developer, but land searches done by the parents reveal that the land is in the name of PKNS.

The disgruntled parents, who have been opposing possible relocation of the school for several years now, want the state government to intervene in order to keep the school at its present site.

The school building has been locked up by the headmistress, leaving parents to leave their children on plastic chairs at an adjacent open ground compound, with no teachers available to teach them.

No black-and-white confirmation 

Kumar said that as the PTA chair, he was only notified of the relocation plan on Nov 9, after a meeting with the state education department officials, during which he registered his opposition to the proposed move.

"Back then they told me that those who wish to stay in that school, this can be arranged for. They said they would write a letter to me," Kumar said.

"But until now, there was no letter. Even the relocation, the headmistress called me abruptly on Dec 19 and just said that they are shifting schools," he added.

The parents have not received any black-and-white confirmation from the ministry about the reasons behind the school relocation either.

PKR's Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen (right) said that he would assist the residents in getting answers from the Selangor state government after he visited the school today.

"It is not appropriate for the state not to have given any answer to these residents. I think this is a case of miscommunication. It is important to keep the issue alive," Wong said, referring to several signed petitions already sent by the parents to the Selangor Menteri Besar's office back in 2012.

Wong, however, said that he had just been made aware of the issue and would need to establish the full picture before taking further action.

Increase Enrolment First, Says Deputy Minister

Pic : The Malay MailPic : The Malay MailBUKIT MERTAJAM: The Indian community has been urged to enrol their children in Tamil primary schools before requesting for a Tamil secondary school.
Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said: “At the moment, the enrolment in Tamil schools in Penang is the lowest in the country. The community should consider enrolling their children in Tamil schools to make up the numbers before demanding for a secondary school.”
He also asked the Penang government to play its part.
Kamalanathan said this after visiting SK Pendidikan Khas at Alma yesterday.
However, he refused to elaborate when asked on the status of proposals to introduce Tamil secondary schools.
In September, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, who is also the education minister, to assist in setting up a Tamil secondary school in the state.
Lim said the state was willing to allocate land to build the first Tamil secondary school in the country.