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Buat kajian kenapa pelajar Cina SK lebih mesra berbanding pelajar vernakular

Kaji kebolehan pelajar sekolah vernakular berkomunikasi dalam Bahasa Melayu

SAUDARA Arnold Susahnakeja meminta saya menjawab beberapa persoalan yang dibangkitkan dalam FB mengenai sekolah vernakular dan keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi semalam.

Kenapa kerajaan tidak seharus mendanai sekolah vernakular.

Lihat di kampus-kampus, pelajar berkumpul mengikut bangsa masing-masing sama ada dalam atau di luar kelas. Keadaan sudah tentu sangat serius di universiti swasta seperti KUTAR, UTAR, Universiti Wawasan, Universiti AIMST dan lain-lain. Kenapa mereka tidak selesa?

Sebab itu, dalam kelas ketika mengajar, saya wajibkan bila buat assignment, mesti bercampur, tidak boleh satu kaum sahaja. Tujuannya, supaya mereka bercampur dan dapat berinteraksi.

Keputusan mahkamah semalam menjadi-jadi teringat kata-kata Pakar Perlembagaan, Prof Dr Shad Faruqi berkata, hak orang Cina adalah hak untuk belajar bahasa Cina, itu memang dijamin dalam Perlembagaan, tetapi bukan belajar dalam bahasa Cina. Dalam maksud, Perlembagaan memberi hak belajar ibunda tetapi bukan belajar dalam bahasa ibunda.

Hairannya, sekian lama pakar bercakap, tidak ada siapa yang mahu dengar. Tidak ada tindakan atau penambahbaikan dibuat oleh kerajaan. Kita terus berpolitik. Orang politik merasakan dia semua pakar dalam segala hal. Tak mahu rujuk pakar. Pakar dirujuk ketika susah dan tersepit.

Pakar Sejarah Negara, mendiang Prof Khoo Kay Kim pernah berkata, British hanya benarkan sekolah Cina beroperasi ketika zaman penjajah, jika mereka berhasrat untuk kembali ke negara asal iaitu negara China. Tidak mahu menetap di Tanah Melayu.

Namun, jika orang Cina mengambil keputusan untuk menetap di Tanah Melayu, maka sekolah Cina mesti dirobohkan. Orang Cina mesti belajar dalam aliran kebangsaan. Jelas kata-kata pakar sejarah.

Ternyata penjajah British sangat memahami dalam kehidupan bernegara. Memberikan hak kepada yang berhak. Malangnya, perkara ini tidak difahami sebegitu oleh ultra kiasu.

Mereka merasakan semua hak mereka. Sampai ke tahap hak yang diminta melampau-lampau. Menjadikan sekolah Cina beroperasi secina-cinanya. Lebih Cina daripada Cina di negara China.

Di negara Komunis China, semua silibus dan kurikulum ditentukan oleh kerajaan. Tidak ada pilihan. Tetapi dalam konteks Malaysia, sekolah Cina yang dibantu sepenuhnya oleh kerajaan, silibus dan kurikulum, ditentukan oleh bangsa mereka sendiri. Lebih malang, mereka tidak patuh kepada arahan kerajaan, walaupun didanai sepenuhnya oleh kerajaan.

Sudahlah tidak patuh. Malah desak dan paksa kerajaan untuk iktiraf Sijil Pendidikan Menengah Cina iaitu UEC. Keempat rukun tadi bergabung, bersatu teguh, sehingga kerajaan terpaksa tunduk.

Namun, bila hilang kuasa, baru nak cari sokongan Melayu, baru nak merayu kepada Melayu dan Bumiputera. Bila senang, Melayu, Cina, India. Rupanya kena susah dahulu, baru dia sedar dan insaf. Adakah cara ini betul? Sama-sama kita fikirkan.

Saya mohon kajian dibuat secara serius.

Pertama, implikasi sekolah vernakular terhadap pembinaan negara bangsa iaitu perpaduan. Beza antara produk Cina Sekolah Kebangsaan dengan SJKC. Dua perwatakan yang berbeza. Mereka yang datang daripada aliran SK lebih mudah bergaul dan lebih mudah mesra dengan orang lain. Berbanding mereka yang datang daripada SJKC.

Cuba lihat di kampus-kampus terutama Universiti Awam. Pelajar Cina jalan berkelompok dalam kalangan mereka, begitu juga dengan India. Sama jua apabila berada dalam kelas. Satu barisan dalam kalangan bangsa yang sama.

Berbeza dengan pelajar Bumiputera Sabah dan Sarawak, mereka bercampur dan mudah mesra bergaul. Saya bersedia untuk melakukan kajian tersebut jika ada geran yang diberikan. Kita lihat hasil kajian secara saintifik.

Kedua, kebolehan pelajar sekolah vernakular berkomunikasi dalam Bahasa Melayu. Lihat sahaja cara Ahli Parlimen atau DUN ultra kiasu bercakap dan berbahas. Saya juga tawarkan diri buat kajian.

Ketiga, peratusan lulus pelajar vernakular dalam Bahasa Melayu meskipun silibusnya jauh lebih mudah berbanding dengan silibus Bahasa Melayu di sekolah kebangsaan.

Keempat, implikasi kelas peralihan atau remove class atau mereka yang gagal dalam subjek Bahasa Melayu yang sangat mudah silibusnya, ke atas pembinaan negara bangsa.

Kelima, sosialisasi kaum produk vernakular dalam kehidupan seharian seperti pergaulan, percakapan, sosialisasi media yang dibaca dan ditonton, penyertaan dalam NGO dan parti politik. Semuanya berasaskan kaum. Saya bersedia membuat kajian secara saintifik.

Akhirnya, saya minta saudara semua baca artikel di bawah ini oleh mendiang Prof Khoo Kay Kim.

The preservation and the practice of ancestral culture is not wrong but when one lives in a complex society, social relations cannot be taken for granted. Certainly, accommodation is more likely to lead to greater happiness than stubborn confrontation.

To build a nation, first build a school

Believe it or not, I tend to agree with those voices for an integrated national school. To me, a single system school is crucial to develop Bangsa Malaysia – a united Malaysians with the same learning path (not necessarily means the same learning tools!).

While celebrating our diversity, we should all work towards the convergence of our vernacular education systems, which I believe would enable us to optimise the use of scarce resources (both financial and non-financial) to improve the standard of living of all Malaysians. And this would also enable us to nurture the spirit of kekitaan among the young generation.

When I first read the appended article which was first published on The Sun, I know I should share this with my fellow friends.

Lets us put aside our emotions, and read the article with an open mind.

And I personally think the Government should stop providing financial support to vernacular schools and at the same time, enhance the attractiveness and effectiveness of national schools.
(Graha ResidenKu, 20 Dis 2008)
*******************************************
Prof Khoo Kay Kim
Via email

MANY years ago, Tagore said: “To build a nation, first build a school.” He was talking about the need to integrate and socialise the young people who form the citizens of a country. In Malaysia, concern was raised even before World War II, not long after the British had experimented with preserving separatism and found the situation difficult to control. Sir Shenton Thomas (governor and high commissioner), in about 1940, actually thought seriously of adopting a policy to Anglicise the Chinese. But war broke out before he could act.

It is not at all well known that, in the early years of British administration, there was no consciousness of the need to build walls between the ethnic groups. For instance, those appointed to official bodies (such as sanitary boards or state councils) represented industries or commerce. It was only after World War I that the decision was made to appoint ethnic representatives.

The British treated non-Malays as aliens and therefore provided facilities for them to continue to live as citizens of their countries of origin. Hence also, hardened non-Malay criminals were banished, meaning they were sent back to their original countries and could not return.

Malays (as distinct from those of more recent Netherlands East Indies origin) were deemed to be subjects of the Rulers. Those committing serious crimes were exiled, meaning they could return because this was their land of origin. It was to protect their interests, after the first rubber boom of 1910, that the Malay Land Reservation Act was passed in 1913 which also defined, for the first time, who a Malay was. This same definition is preserved in the Federal Constitution.

When plans were laid for the establishment of a nation-state in the course of World War II, the British began to plan seriously the best way to integrate the ethnic groups. The Communities Liaison Committee was formed at the beginning of 1949, chaired by E.E.C.Thuraisingham.

The Barnes Committee, a year later, recommended the integration of the education system. All government schools, as distinct from private schools, would use Malay and English as the main media of instruction but pupils could learn their own ethnic languages. Later, the Razak Report of 1956 stated categorically that “the main objective of Malaya’s educational policy is national unity.” Its recommendations were substantially similar to that of the Barnes Report.

But throughout the late “forties” and “fifties”, various efforts made to integrate the people proved futile. They preferred to remain separate. Hence, ethnic political parties were formed. Socialism and communism tried to use ideology to break down communalism; both failed. I remember a question set for my final year examination (in 1959) by Prof. K.G.Tregonning (an Australian): “Communalism not communism is the real threat in Malaya.” Most of the students who answered that question agreed with the statement.

Singapore is very well aware of that and has adopted, from the beginning, an integrative approach towards education. But its requirement that a pupil must study his/her own ethnic language is too hard. If an Indian pupil wants to study Mandarin instead of Tamil, he/she is not allowed to do so.

Our political leaders also could not solve the problem on the eve of independence. They left many issues unresolved hoping that, after independence, reason and not emotion would prevail. But even now there is no sign of it. When I told the reporter of the Chinese paper that the time had come to adopt a “one-system national school” approach, I specifically mentioned Singapore as an example. But she could not understand what I was saying and reported that I had said non-Malays must forget their mother tongues.

“Mother tongue” is another misunderstood term. It should be the language used by members of a particular family, not the language used by a nation. Therefore, Tamil is not the “mother tongue” of every Indian. The Bengalis, Punjabis, Malayalis and Telegus have their own “mother tongues”. In Sarawak and Sabah, the indigenous people have numerous “mother tongues”.

Like it or not, young Malaysians must make it a point to acquire three languages at least: the national language, an international language (English is the most useful) and each person’s own ethnic language. The schools can provide for the learning of a few of the major ethnic languages: Mandarin, Tamil and Arabic; but it would not be practicable to try to provide more.

When discussing national problems, why must leaders of the nation allow themselves to be overcome by strong ethnic feelings? Their main responsibility is to integrate the nation not separate it. And, by the way, the nation rejected assimilation a long time ago but acknowledged that integration is the right approach. There are still educated Malaysians who do not know this.

I have lived through two serious ethnic riots – one in 1945 and one in 1969. When I plead for a rational approach why should I be accused of not knowing my own people? My research into the history of the Chinese in Malaysia takes into account minute details. But the simple question is, if I choose to be an ethnic champion would I be able to contribute to national unity? Am I to understand that confrontation is the wiser approach? Have we not seen the calamities that have taken place in some countries even in recent times because of ethnic confrontation?

The preservation and practice of ancestral culture is not wrong but when one lives in a complex society, social relations cannot be taken for granted. Certainly, accommodation is more likely to lead to greater happiness than stubborn confrontation.
(Khoo Kay Kim, 2008)

Prof Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah

Penafian: Kenyataan berita atau artikel ini adalah pandangan peribadi penulis dan tidak mewakili pendirian rasmi Media Isma Sdn Bhd atau Portal Islam dan Melayu Ismaweb.net.

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