KUALA KANGSAR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today said that he had never at any time called for vernacular schools to be abolished.
He said that instead he had asked for the curriculum of vernacular schools to be further empowered so as to strengthen national unity in a multiracial society like Malaysia.
“The National Education policy clearly states that the mother tongue should be encouraged in primary schools but by consolidating the curriculum national unity can be achieved,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid was speaking to reporters after launching the ‘Ekspresi Negaraku’ (expressing patriotism) in Kuala Kangsar at the Dataran Pavillion here which was attended by about 10,000 people. Present were the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.
He said this when asked to explain his statement that suggested the country’s education system needs to be reviewed in order to create national unity because the present method especially with the presence of the multi-streams in schools makes it difficult for cross-cultural validity among students.
During the question and answer session after delivering a lecture on Cultural Knowledge is Core of National Strength (Budaya Ilmu Teras Kekuatan Negara) in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, Ahmad Zahid was quoted as saying that the existence of the multi-stream school system starting from preschool up to secondary school retarded the desired unity agenda. – BERNAMA