I was talking to a friend the other day. He lives very close to a Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan. A national school, funded fully by the government. Education is free. His daughter once went to this school because the school is within walking distance from his house. The daughter is now in Form Four.
He volunteered a very telling observation- to me at least. He noticed this year, when registration for year one students took place, there were no Chinese students. No Chinese parents came to send their children to Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan. There were a few Malaysian Indians. The majority are Malays.
Possibly the scene is repeated across the whole country more or less in uniformity. To me, these are danger signs.
Where do the Chinese send their children to? To the Chinese Schools where they must pay some money and fees. Maybe pool resources to better the facilities at the Chinese schools. The medium of instruction is Chinese language. Will they suffer in future?
No is the answer. Last year in the 2009, Singapore GCE O Levels, the top scorer is a Malaysian girl with 10A1s. That's the GCE O levels, accredited by Cambridge Examinations Syndicate. This is the exam; you and I who are now in the early 50s took when we were in Form 5 in the English Medium Schools.
In Malaysia, she went to a Chinese school. Going though an SRJK.
One type of parent undertakes the task of educating his children as a personal responsibility; the other type transfers that responsibility to the state.
The Malaysian Chinese parents who elected to NOT Send their children to SRK instinctively knew because they chose to pay for their children's education, that education really begins at the home. They know that inculcation of values begin at home.
The other type who transfers the responsibility and transfers also the cost of educating to others, do so as the expense of leaving the inculcation of values at a later stage, though mass production.
Between a product that is mass produced and one that is specially made, which one is better, is easily identified.What values are we talking about? That will be in another part.