Malaysian schools to offer Tamil, Mandarin lessons at primary level

October 4th, 2009 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI  

Kuala Lumpur, Oct. 4 (ANI): In order to attract more non-Malaysian students to government schools, Malaysia’s education ministry is planning to introduce Tamil and Mandarin lessons at primary school level. The classes would eventually replace Pupil’s Own Language (POL) periods, which are conducted after the school. According to a recent report, some parents were steering clear of national schools for several reasons, including a lack of emphasis on Mandarin and Tamil, Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, the lackadaisical attitude of teachers and a perceived “Islamisation” of schools.The New Strait Times quoted Education Director-General Alimuddin Mohammad Dom as saying that Mandarin and Tamil classes would also be offered in Malay-majority states such as Kelantan and Terengganu. “We found not just Chinese students taking the Mandarin classes but Malays as well,” he said.He added that Mandarin and Tamil classes would be different from POL, as it would be incorporated into the school’s timetable and conducted during school hours.”Only then are the classes held outside school hours or during the weekend. They are, for a start, conducted in schools with a racially-mixed student population,” Dom said.On Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction, Alimuddin said: “As Malaysians, we have to accept that Bahasa Malaysia is the medium of instruction in schools as stipulated in the Education Act. (ANI)

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