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SJKCs: a boon for all Malaysians

  • The announcement reflects the government's recognition of the value of multi-stream education as well as the status of SJKCs as an invaluable asset to the country. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

Sin Chew Daily

The government has announced the good news that it has approved the construction of ten new Chinese primary schools and the relocation of six others.

Among the ten new schools to be built, five will be in Selangor while the remaining five will be in Johor.

This is the first time the government has approved the construction of so many SJKCs in the country.

Notably, of these ten new schools, nine will be named after local Chinese community leaders with outstanding contributions towards education.

Chinese primary schools have been in strong demand in areas with large concentrations of Chinese population, and there have been constant calls for the construction of new schools in these areas.

Education is key to the country's sustained development and the government has the obligation to fulfill the educational needs of the society and take the necessary measures to address the issue of overcrowding at schools.

The construction of new Chinese primary schools is believed to be able to relieve the phenomenon of overcrowding in urban schools while satisfying the educational needs of parents and students.

In the meantime, some Chinese primary schools in more remote areas are facing the dilemma of acute student shortage. By moving these schools to more suitable locations, we can explore new student sources while maintaining the number of SJKCs and providing quality education to local residents.

We need to stress that building new SJKCs benefits not just the local Chinese community, for more and more non-Chinese parents are sending their children to these schools.

Statistics show that non-Chinese students make up almost 18% of the entire enrolment in SJKCs, and this percentage is poised to rise further to 20% to 30% in near future.

We can see from here that Chinese language education has won the approval of all ethnic groups in this country, and the government's decision to construct new SJKCs will benefit Malaysians from all ethnic backgrounds, not just the Chinese.

This announcement also reflects the government's recognition of the value of multi-stream education as well as the status of SJKCs as an invaluable asset to the country.

Prior to this, we have heard some irresponsible individuals and organizations arguing that multi-stream education is a stumbling block to national unity. The government's approval of new schools is a positive and practical action to trash the absurd arguments of these people while reinforcing the position of multilingual education in this country.

While the announcement is a positive development, the involved departments must expedite the school-building process so that the promised SJKCs can be built within the shortest time possible..

Additionally, the authorities must have in place a transparent mechanism to construct and relocate SJKCs so that the issues of overcrowding in urban schools as well as the phenomenon of micro schools in rural areas could be addressed systematically in reaffirming the advantages of multi-stream education in this country.



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