Today, on World Teachers’ Day, JD Lovrenciear slams the half-baked plan to create elite public pre-schools for the middle class.
So many things in Malaysia are being classified – whether based on ethnicity, religion or economic class.
The latest is the government’s move to have elite government pre-schools for the middle class. These elite schools would charge higher fees and provide a better curriculum and more qualified facilitators.
Why in the world do we have class-based, race-based, and religious categorisations in so many sectors of our multicultural and multi-religious nation? When will we ever be one nation of people, if the people are segregated politically, economically, racially and by religion?
Having race-based political parties is the biggest scourge. Dividing people by race in development policy is unlikely to lead to genuine shared prosperity. And now trying to carve out public education by economic class will drive the wedge between rich and poor more deeply.
Where is the wisdom of the nation’s leadership?
We are often touted as a democratic nation, and so we must ensure quality education is available on a level playing field for all the people of this land – the rich, the poor, people with disabilities, irrespective of colour, creed, location or nationality.
Class differentiation in education – by race, by religion, by economic standards or even by location (urban, semi-urban or interior areas) – will probably result in a failed nation.
We must vehemently protest the plan to set up elite government pre-schools to cater for the middle class.
Instead, this country needs a total revamp in the quality of education. From human capital to infrastructure to content – our national education system has failed. But then we lap up a myriad of wrong prescriptions or remain indifferent.
Either everyone in this land wakes up now or we will wallow in the same cesspool of rot for the next couple of decades. For as long as education is interwoven with politics, we are doomed.