Thursday, October 29, 2009

A bright child gone

May God bless her soul and give strength to her family.

http://www.mmail.com.my/content/17229-bright-child-gone

Regards,

Sharmalan

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Help us to help the Tamil School kids

took this from MI Club. Let's do our part :)
Sharmalan
Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Serdang is one of the few Tamil Schools under the `A' Category (having more than 500 students).
The Parents/TeachersAssociation has been doing many activities currently, such as upgrading of the infrastructure of the school and conducting `Projek Kecemerlangan Pelajar Tahun 5', which is aimed to improve the performance of our students in the UPSR Exam.
We also have plans to upgrade the computer lab so that all the children willhave the opportunity to learn and use the computer. In order to execute theseactivities we need fund, and therefore will be organizing a Fund Raising Dinner on the 14th November 2009.
I know that there are many Indians out there willing to help our Tamil Schoolchildren but not sure on how to do it. Here, you can contribute in 3 ways:
1) Buying tickets- You can help us by buying the dinner ticket, priced at RM100 per head or RM1000 per table. On top of the 10 course dinner, there will be cultural performance by our own students and some invited artists as well aslucky draw.
2) Buying advertisement space in the souvenir magazine : Individuals and businessmen are also invited to buy up advertisement space in our souvenir magazine. A full page (colour) will cost you only RM500, and half page (colour) will be RM250. A total number of 3000 magazines are going to be printed.
3) Sponsoring – You can also contribute to our fund by sponsoring lucky drawprizes ( anything will do). For the kind hearted Indian community members out there, I am sincerely looking forward for your contributions to make this event a very successful one. If you wish to donate, you can e-mail me at pal316@yahoo.com or contact :
Mr. Mohankumar – President, PIBG (012-9120006)
Mr. Tamil Selvan – Vice President , PIBG (012-6060361)
May God bless you.

Gopal Thirumalai

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tamil Teacher Post

Hello,

My sister who is in TamilNadu, trying for some Tamil teacher job at Malaysia or Singapore. She is MA, B.Ed in Tamil. Currently working as a teacher at TamilNadu.

Is there any vacancy for Tamil teacher post. How to apply for Tamil teacher post at Malaysia.
Please guide us .

Regards,
kavitha jude

jude.malar@lycos.com

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SRJK(T)LADANG LAUDERDALE , MATANG – Latest update .


It has been about 2 weeks since MI Club members visited the SRJK(T) LADANG LAUDERDALE,MATANG . On the 14th April , I visited the school again to see the progress taking place in the school .
Since our last visit , both myself and the Headmaster have been constantly in touch and I was updated on the progress taking place . I called up one of the Berkat share holders who own the estate and explained about the school and the urgent need for expansion and requested for permission to build another 2 classrooms . Mr. Anwar , one of the share holder called me back one week later to inform that they have no objection to our request but for formality asked us to submit a letter so that the matter can be brought up in their board meeting . A letter was send to Mr.Jayaraman who is in charge of this matter . On the 9th April the estate tractors was send to clear the land proposed for the building and about 7 palm oil trees were uprooted.
The same time , we also received a quotation from JKR which estimated the cost of the building including wiring to be about RM 58,000 plus . The quotation was a little higher then we had expected . We decided to look for other contractors and to get their quotations .
The PPD then informed the Headmaster that Rm 20,000 has been allocated for the school as part of “ Naik Taraf “ . This money is for repairs ,painting and to purchase electrical stuffs . Initially when we told the PPD officer that we would like to use this funds for the building of 2 new classrooms , they did not approve . After speaking to the higher officer and explaining the urgent need , he agreed to approve . They sent their contractor to asses and estimate the cost . We had the plans drawn and the contractor estimated the cost will be about more than RM30 ,000 . We asked for estimation without wiring or painting . He quoted the estimation to about Rm22,000 . After negotiation he agreed to get it done at Rm20,000 .
I have already got a friend who agreed to do the wiring at free of cost . The painting , I suggested once the building is up , we will get some volunteers on a Sunday and together with the students get the painting done . It will make everyone feel that they had done something for the school . I am hoping MI club members will be there to participate since it is their effort and their kindness which had helped the school to get two new classrooms .
Four weeks ago MIC President Dato Samy Vellu had made surprise visit to the school and promised the school RM400,000 K for the purpose of the new building . He had promised to follow up and get the new building up as soon as possible . This was prior to the Bukit Gantang election . This school falls in Bukit Gantang district . As usual Politicians make many promises before election and forget about it after the election especially when they get defeated . Anyway I found out that the Rm 400,000 K was already allocated to the school as part of the Governments stimulus package of Rm50 million . As part of the package this school was to receive Rm400,000 K . Our kind President of MIC who already knew about this announced the amount making it look like MIC is giving . I feel so disgusted and could not find the right words to describe my feelings . I sincerely request to members of MIC , if you can’t do anything , please stop delivering false promises to help the poor people . Let people who are really sincere do the needful .
We also discussed other matters , the headmaster was busy as there is going to be a Tamil Carnival in Perak state where all Tamil schools in Perak will be Participating in Essay , poetry , story telling and other competitions . They were busy deciding which students will participate in which competition and looking at the results of the students , most of them have high marks and the HM did not want to disappoint them . He had to choose the right competition for each of them based on their talent .
I also went thru the attendance record of the students and the performance of each students in their exams . The attendance record are maintained daily and monthly and yearly for each students . This year students who have 100% record of attendance will be recognised and awarded .
There were about 10 students who are having transport problem coming to the school . Actually most of the students are from surrounding the estate . One girl from standard 4 , thevadharshini who has other 6 sibblings , whose alcoholic father had deserted them , was about to drop out of the school . Her mother had send the elder brother to a welfare home . quick intervention from the Headmaster managed to keep her in school . Everyday a teacher picks the girl up and drives her to the school and drops her back on the way home . I went through Thevadharshini’s records and she has scored nothing less then 90% in most of the subjects . Throughout the 4 years , she has done well in the school .
The Headmaster had asked for 10 bicycles but he was able to get one . Since Thevadharshini needed it the most , the bicycle was given to her .
We discussed about the financial matters . I informed the Headmaster that Mr.Poobalan had banked in Rm500.00 on behalf of UMIC . All together the total amount that we have collected is about Rm5,000.00 . We decided for time being to put the money in a fixed deposit and to use it later for the building . I was shown other things that was donated through MI club. There was few book cabinets , file cabinets , classroom tables , chairs and tables and benches for the canteen . I think it was Mr.Balu ( I am sorry if I got it wrong . There were a long list of names ) who had donated all these things . Mr. Sugu had donated some revision books and it was distributed to all the classrooms.
At 12.30 pm , I left the headmaster to attend to his urgent work . 4 hours of discussion was a quite a long one . I went around the classrooms to take some photographs for you to see how cramped up the classroom was . One class was being held in the canteen . The teachers do not have their own tables since there was not enough space . They share the tables with the students .
We hope to have a fundraiser to raise more funds for the school . We also understand that the standard of the school must improve and maintain . This will further encourage more parents to send their children to this school .
We hope the project of the classroom building will start by May and hope to finish by end of June . this will help to reduce congestion and hope helps the exam going students to concentrate better in their class .
Weekly twice , these children , plus other students have tuitions after school . The HM has arranged for a small meal for those who are unable to go home for lunch .
The HM monitors the progress of all the students and those who are not doing well , their parents are called in for counselling and when they fail to turn up , the HM himself pays them a visit .
Every detail of each children is maintained as a record which includes their financial status and other personal details .
We are really hoping to improve this school and bring it to another level . Even the teachers now feel a little confident with our involvement and with the progress taking place , they believe changes will take place and they too feel motivated .

Dr.Sreedharan PHF,MBBS,FAGE

Monday, April 13, 2009

SJK[T] LADANG FOTRESS , GEMAS BARU IN NEED OF PC

Dear All
Last week I was in Johor , in particular at SJK{T} Fotress,Gemas Baru {Segamat/Johor] . The school was recently awarded assistance of RM550,000 for building a new block. The school PIBG and local groups are seeking additional funds from Local MP and well wishers.

Meanwhile , The PIBG requested public and well wishers to contirbute PC for the school. There are 68 children enrolled at the moment.

Generous heart can contibute brand new or used BUT in good condition PCs to the school. At the moment there is no PC for children ; The teachers are ever ready to give free tutorial. Some 6-8 PC will be sufficient for a start.

Please contact directly the PIBG Chairman , Thiru Mohan at 019-686 6295

Thanks

Yours In service

Vesu Suppiah
My Nadi

TAMIL SCHOOL DESPAIR

I have been very proud of my efforts to help Tamil schools in the past . The recent project through effort of MI members to help the SRJK ( Tamil ) Ladang Lauderdale in Matang which was a success had me truly motivated to help this school further . The last few days I have been calling few people and getting their advice on my further plans to help this school build another classroom . The Contractor have estimated the cost of the building and I need to plan on how I am going to work towards raising funds for the school .
However few days ago my spirit was dampened by one of my patients . We were discussing about Tamil schools and their problems . Our discussion turned to an heated argument due to difference of opinion . He was on the offensive side and I was on defensive . This patient happen to be an elderly man who was a former Tamil school teacher . In respect of his age and experience I decided to drop the argument .
After he left , my mind was not in peace . Things he said kept lingering in my mind . It made me feel so angry . I felt as if he had just ripped my spirit out of me and tore it into pieces . Since that day my mind was not on peace . At times his argument sounded right and my defence sounded very stupid . He was a former Tamil school teacher and I am just a doctor . Was I feeling angry because my ego was hurt ? Was it because he sounded right and I was wrong ?
I needed to evaluate myself first . The next few days I started thinking . An email from on of the MI club member “ Tamil School Vs Temple “ made me pounder even further . Slowly whatever said by my patient began to make a little sense . I started to question myself , my intention and its outcome . I soon realised I do not have the answer . I am sure there is someone out there who can answer me .
In the last 5 years , I have been exposed to only 3 Tamil schools . Only one school I was totally involved in helping the school children and the school while the other two I only helped to raise funds to buy uniforms for the children and pay for their school fees . With such a shallow exposure , it does not make me an expert in Tamil School affairs and that does not make me the champions of Tamil School . The only comfort I have was that my intentions were good but is my actions justifiable . Are we being fair to the children in Tamil schools especial those in the estates . Are we depriving certain privileges in the name of preserving our mother language . Was my action taken in the best interest of the children or on sear impulse to prove that certain quarters have done nothing to help our community .
There are times when I sit down to think about the Indian community problems and the possible solution , I feel like hitting a bar to get drank just to have a peace of mind . No wonder in the evenings the toddy shops are crowded . Probably everyone who is worried about the community stops by for a peace of mind .
Let us go back in time to colonial days . Nearly all the estates had a temple of worship and schools . The British must have been a very concern people providing such facilities for the Indians .

You see, it was the British who made sure that the Indians in the estates never got out. They built schools, temples and quarters within the estates to keep the community contained. They never gave any importance to the children's education.
It was important to keep the kids lowly educated so that they take over the work of their parents and become a new generation labourers. As entertainment, they used to screen Tamil movies every now and then until TV and electricity were available. They also provided a flow of cheap liquor to keep the men happy and hooked.
And nowadays, it's our very own Indian politicians who are employing similar tactics in order to get votes when required.

The Chinese and Tamil schools are in Malaysia due to the British colonial policy before independence and their continuation is merely for political convenience. The economic might of the Chinese in this country has given Chinese education the economic value that is harped on by the Chinese in this country for mother-tongue education. The same Chinese in other countries like America,Australia or even in Indonesia, have not been given the benefit of mother- tongue education, but the community has been adept in learning the language of the nation and earning enormous success. The same cannot be said of the Tamils. Not all the Indian Malaysians are Tamils. They consist of majority of Tamils only . There are those whose mother tongue is Telugu , Malayalam, Kannada, Gujerathi , Hindi , Tulu , Urdu ,Punjabi , Konkani , Tulu and many more .Unlike Mandarin, which is acceptable to all the Chinese, there is no single language acceptable to all the Indians however most of the Indians in Malaysia are able to speak Tamil . Tamil schools were built by the British in areas where they located Tamil labourers during the colonial period. The same British built the English schools in the towns, and the Malay schools in the villages. The Chinese built their own schools in their areas, usually on their own land.
The same British built beautiful English schools in the towns. Those big English schools are more than a hundred years old and but are still standing tall with neither structural defects nor fungus. Plus they were built on flat ground so that there would be no landslides!
The Indians who came into the country as professionals or officers sent their children to the urban English schools. That view that the Tamil schools are for the labour class seems to be maintained till today, and very few Tamil professionals send their children to these schools due to this perception. For the sake of attaining independence in 1957, the existing school system under the British was kept in place to get the support of the divergent groups. At that time, the Chinese and the Indians were still applying for citizenship of the country and were in the process of making this country their home. But 52 years after that, we are still looking at the schools from the same angle as seen by the ethnic leaders during independence. We have not grown up as Malaysians as the education system has seen to it that we stay divided. As for the Tamils, after nearly 52 years of independence, most of their Tamil schools are still on private land and the government has not taken them over. The Tamils are not in a position to emulate the Chinese to build imposing buildings for their schools. Many are in need of repairs and face-lifts and yearly, the Indian-based political party ends up debating and formulating resolutions to help the Tamil schools - usually by appealing for help from the government. No one even bothers to ponders on the outcome of these resolutions at the next assembly, and the saga goes on and on.

So do we preserve the Tamil Schools in the Estates or do we close them down . There are a group of people who believe that Tamil schools should be closed down . Some disregard the talk of closing down the Tamil schools as an idle talk .
I managed to talk to few people and got their point of views . Each had something to add and that started contributing in furthering my headache . I really wonder is there any other community with this much of a problem . Most probably some politicians are already using the Government funds to further study about poverty in the neighbouring countries with their family and maid .
Being poor can be very disheartening especially when you have to attend classes in a run-down school while your peers less then few kilometres away are enjoying a spanking new building . Instead of having access to a large field , a school hall , science laboratories and a computer laboratory , the pupils of Tamil (estate ) schools have to cope with the bare necessities. Most schools have no staff room for the teachers or even a proper toilets for the students.
I was told this is not uncommon . Most of the Tamil schools face the same problem . There are some with even worst fate . Some do not have a canteen , no proper roofing and some no classrooms even . In fact there is a school whose classrooms are the steel containers . The condition of the school itself is so demotivating for the students and the teachers who feels so dispirited to see such a disparity between the two schools .Most of the schools are in one small building where the classrooms are divided make shift plywood .

Established at the turn of the century with the setting up of plantations around the country, estate schools were meant to provide minimal education for children of immigrant labourers.


In the colonial period, these "schools" were just huts with broken furniture and untrained teachers, often clerks doubling up as teachers.
Unfortunately, not much progress has been achieved since then. Currently, there are about 530 Tamil schools in Malaysia, of which about 360 are estate schools, with a track record of being backward. The statistics might not be accurate since many tamil schools have closed down in recent years .


While their urban counterparts moan about the lack of computers, these estate schools grapple with fundamental problems.

The crux of the problem is the status of these schools. As they are located on private estate land, they fall under the "model school" category which means that they are only partially aided by the Government.
Under the Education Act 1995, schools located on private land are not eligible for a full grant from the Government. As a result, these schools are forced to source their own funds for their basic infrastructure, including additional classrooms.


In is going to be 52 years of Independence , the Government should not discriminate between national schools and other national type schools when it comes to funding. The Government should look after the infrastructure of all the schools equally . All schools should receive full aid from the Government. It appears like national schools are the favourite child who gets all the pampering while the Tamil schools are like the adopted or stepchild who gets neglected .


There were some suggestion that the community buy their own land to build a good Tamil school . Great suggestion but currently our community leaders are busy building schools in Sri Lanka and donating to temples in India . ( I am not a nuclear scientist but how does robbing your poor community of its wealth and then showering the ill gotten money to God buy you a ticket to heaven when you are dead . Isn’t it better to get the blessing of the people by helping them a better way to get God’s blessing . ). Even if the community buys a land for the school somehow the land title is mysteriously transferred to a politicians name.

Performance of the Tamil schools are also quite disappointing which is due to several factors. Several Tamil schools recorded no passes in the recent UPSR exam . Compared to the national and the Chinese schools , the Tamil school generally perform poorly particularly the schools in the estates .These are underachieving schools that have the potential to improve but due to lack of opportunity and motivation and the prevalent bad conditions, they are not able to reach their full potential. The odds are against these children who come from poor homes and study at poor schools.

Another which was brought up was about the quality of Tamil education . Some say the quality of Tamil education has declined in Malaysian Tamil schools due to type of teachers chosen to teach in these schools . Most of the candidates are selected for teachers training programme with just minimum qualification and credit in Tamil ( SPM ) . This was enough to be a Tamil school teacher . No offense intended towards Tamil school teachers.
The basic necessity required to be a good Tamil teacher is missing in current Tamil school teachers . That is because many of them have a shallow grounding in Tamil and many do not have an inclination towards Tamil literature . Though language / literature courses are available in the local universities , no effort is made for these teachers to be enrolled in one.
Severe shortage is another main factor contributing to the pathetic state of Tamil schools.The shortage is further intensified by the decrease in the number of candidates sitting for Tamil in SPM and PMR.

More than about 1,000 vacancies are said to be available for the post of teachers in Tamil schools . Temporary teachers are being recruited to overcome the severe shortage of Tamil teachers . Tamil schools are said to have the highest number of temporary teachers . However the biggest problem face by the Tamil schools are the parents themselves and their attitude towards education. The literacy rate among parents is about 40%, so many are not aware of the importance of education or are even interested in the learning process of their children's academic development. The parents are unable to provide sufficient motivation for their children, or act as education role models for them. Schools are supposed to compensate for the lack of facilities at home and the deficiencies in their lives.


Most of the parents are labourers . Both parents have to work to make ends meet and so they have little or no time to revise with their children . Very often they do not even know about their children’s performance in school . Because of this , the weaker students tend to get left behind and eventually lose interest .

Some parents are not even aware if their children is attending school or not . Many occasions I have seen these children loitering in restaurants during school hours . Some parents encourage their children to go out and do odd-jobs to add to the family income.

Parents are the third target group . Some schools conduct meetings and seminars to increase parents involvement in all areas which is essential to enhance the children’s development . In most of the school all attempts to create awareness among the parents goes in vain as either both parents are either too busy with work or their parents are busy attending to national agenda in a toddy shop or busy improving their knowledge via SUN TV . All the TV serial requires regular attendance or you will miss the important lesson . I had one opportunity to attend one of these meeting . The hall was practically empty . It was the day they were showing Rajinikant’s movie “ BASHA “ . To purpose of the meeting was defeated by Mani Basha and Anthony . When parents are not committed , the affords of all the good teachers are defeated.

In the MI Club discussion about Tamil School Vs Temples , Mr. Chakravathy happen to mention something about 99% Tamil School Headmasters being involved in MIC . Not all are involved in MIC . Many just keep quite and prefer not to voice against MIC for fear of being transferred or not being promoted . Nearly every PIBG in Tamil school has an MIC branch chairman as the PIBG chairman who reports to the MIC .

The headmaster though not all but few are another bad example to the school which demoralises good and dedicated teachers . One of the teachers told me that her headmaster was either not in most of the time or came in late with bloodshot eyes , a testimony of heavy drinking on the night before and smelling of alcohol. One teacher complaint of being sexually harassed by the Headmaster but feared to complain due to his political influence . Another Tamil school clerk in a bigger Tamil School with a population of about 120 students complaint that the school is in a shabby condition because the Headmaster kept pocketing the funds .
I also happen to get a chance to speak to one of the Chinese contractor who complaint that whenever he gets a contract in a Tamil School , the Headmaster demands for his share of the profit and this is one reason he prefers not to take up any contracts for Tamil schools .

Similarly another patient of mine who supplies school supplies like stationeries and books complaint that the Headmasters demand for 20% commission . This is said normal amongst headmasters in Tamil schools but not in Chinese schools .

There are many other minor complaints about Tamil school headmaster who are involved in money lending business and other things .
There are few headmasters who are very dedicated to their work . They personally monitor their students performance . They take the trouble to make home visits to see the poor performing students parents . If there are students who are in need of financial help , some Headmasters spend their own money or seek public help to help this students .

Right from the beginning till the end , Tamil school students in rural areas have to face tremendous obstacles in order to get a decent education . The distance some of them have to travel in order to get to the school . The uneven mud roads which they have to walk through from the main road to the school . Carrying a heavy load of books on their back and empty load in their stomach . Most of the children don’t have the luxury of having breakfast in the morning . Malnutrition is another prime factor that effects the concentration in the children .

Feeling hungry and being cramped up in a oven like classroom ,adding to it an aroma of rotting wood panels is of no help to concentrate in the class . The grumbling sound of the stomach sounds louder then the yelling of their teacher . Also adding to it is the sound from the next classroom which is divided with a plywood partition . There is also an ongoing battle with the rocking tables and the chairs which makes writing on a note book .
The children also face a disadvantage at the entry level . Most of the children do not have any pre – school basic education when they enter primary school . The limited exposure to basic literacy skills handicaps the progress of these pupils in primary school . Their comprehension of certain subjects such as Geography and History is poor , partly due to their isolation in the estate .


At a very tender age when growing up was suppose to be filled with fun these children face an uphill task of fighting hunger , walking a long distance and getting baked in an oven like cramped up classrooms . Many of these children eventually begin to lose interest in school and some eventually drop out . Few are even forced to leave school and work to help their family . Few continue their struggle with a sear determination to fulfil their ambitions . Above all of that , they have to contend with school administrators who are more interested in filling their pockets and personal gains .

In my discussion with another friend of mine who studied in a Tamil school , I asked him about his opinion about sending his children to Tamil school . Without an hesitation he said no . He studied in Tamil school and he has experienced all the difficulties in getting to where he is now and he will never let his children to go through it .

How many Tamil school teacher or Headmasters are sending their children to Tamil schools . How many politicians who caring for the Tamil schools sent their children to Tamil schools . Unlike the Chinese schools where everyone has no objection in sending their children to Chinese schools , the Tamil schools in Malaysia is only for those who had no choice .
Another point that was asked was what a Tamil-trained student is going to do in today’s job market . He or she might become a Tamil school teacher or become a Tamil DJ or newscaster or a court interpreter or an actor in a Malaysian Tamil drama or serial or if they master the art of lying , cheating , manipulating from our local politicians in MIC , they too can become a politician .

You can do everything else to succeed in life without an in-depth knowledge of Tamil. Of course there are Tamil school students who have become professionals but they will tell you how tough it was for them to make it through university. These are the people who wouldn’t want to put their own children through the same system they went through.

Ask Dato Kayveas , who speaks in pride about being born and brought up in an estate and who got his primary education in an estate school where are his children studying .


Somewhere in 1835 , Lord Macaulay , the Victorian essayist , poet and historian who was then the presiding the Committee on Public Instruction in Bengal , recommended for India a thoroughly English education system . He said the English education system creates a class of person , Indian in blood and colour but English in Taste , in morals and in intellect .

If I had been there , I would probably would have been the first in History to throw a shoe at him .


But such was their thinking behind the famed English education . The system did produce servile coloured officers but it paved the way for the British Empire’s early demise . The thought that the Occidentals- their culture , their system , their intellect , their aesthetics are somehow superior to those in Asia has never been extirpated from our minds . Despite of being independent for 52 years we still somehow live in a landscape mottled by the shadows of Colonialism.

In India an attempt to make Hindi as mainstream language met with severe resistance from the south . All the best Universities taught their subjects in English . During my Pre –University day , 2 language was compulsory . Most of them opt for English and their mother tongue language . I choose French . God knows why I was so much into learning to speak French .Actually we were conned by our senior into believing that a young , beautiful and sexy French lady will be teaching us and later we found out an old , short , fat Indian lady was teaching us .

With English being given more importance and there is a huge demand for the Indian graduates all over the world . Trust me . Their English standard is way beyond ours . I could barely pass my English subject and manage to get higher marks in French . Therefore why when the Indians in India can move in the right direction , why are we still insisting on keeping our children in the dark confined in an estate ?
Lets not get to emotional . Lets try to understand why some think that Tamil schools should be closed down and why do they think it is a dead end for our younger generation . I think our MIC politicians will get an heart attack if they hear this . Then they have no place or grounds to fish for votes . Their MIC chairman will have no jobs and the school headmasters will have no extra source of income .

In summary the argument put forward is not something we have never heard . We have been discussing the same matter over and over for the day one .

1) That the school facilities are dilapidated;
2) Poor prospects at the job market;
3) That good knowledge of Tamil is unnecessary for 'success';
4) does not promote ethic integration; and, ultimately,
5) Even those who exposed to Tamil education - politicians, Tamil newspapermen, Tamil school educators - do not send their children to Tamil schools.


We have debated in many occasions regarding Tamil schools . We blamed our community for concentrating so much on building temples and neglecting the basic education of our children . Tamil schools Vs Temples somehow managed to get the attention of many . Healthy debates are an excellent opportunity to get the opinions of the more exposed and educated members of the Indian Community .

These argument are not necessary to be untrue or wrong . Issues like phasing out Tamil schools requires more understanding and we must appreciate the role these school plays and the merits .

Although many of the things I had mention sounded so depressing and demotivating , I still like to see this issue in a positive side . There may be many reasons going against the Tamil schools but there are more reason why the need to be preserved . There is more reason why we must create awareness among our community to come forward to help these Tamil schools . All the problems face by the Tamil schools can be overcome if we remain united and continue in our afford to bring some changes .
As per years of research done by Unesco on education – Children who begin their education in their mother tongue make a better start and continue to perform better than those for whom the school starts with a new language .


Points that strongly in favour of Tamil schools :

First of all most of the Tamil schools are located in rural areas . The majority of the students come from a poor households . For many of them it is a Hobson’s choice , it is either Tamil education or no education at all . Most of the Indians in the rural areas are Tamils therefore for the Tamil school students their mother tongue language is Tamil . Hence it is logical why their early education should be in Tamil as well . Once a solid basic foundation has been laid , there could be a shift in the medium of instruction .

The schools provide the students a strong sense of self and pride in one’s culture and spiritual heritage . For multiracial country like ours , these are a valuable assest. When Malaysians as one people under one banner unite , each of us would still retain a degree of uniqueness that helps us to unleash our collective creative genius . Cultural diversity should be embraced and celebrated . The Tamil school system in that respect should be an integral part of that Malaysian idea.

Over the last few years , Tamil schools have begun to perform better . The rate of improvement among Tamil school students has consistently remained higher than both national and Chinese vernacular schools.

Once thought to be dying , the Tamil schools have naturally seen a reversal of their fate . There are still a large number of students enrolling in Tamil schools . many schools have recorded a significant number of increase in their school which is why they require extra classrooms and better facilities .
In the last few years there has been an increasing number of teachers and other middle class parents who choose to send their children to Tamil schools . There is a growing realisation among Tamils in particular and Indian Malaysians who are aware that Tamil schools should be safe guarded . The success of the Tamil schools directly contributes to the success of the community and its future.
We should be proud that being a minority , we still have the higher percentage of professional . Many intellectuals, doctors,lawyers,politician and those from other field who are successful had their primary education in a Tamil schools .

I spoke to some of those who had their primary education in Tamil school and asked them about their opinion . Many of them have very fond memories . If they have a chance to turn back the clock and change their past , this one thing they would not want to change . The hardship they went through build their confidence . It made them appreciate the value of education . Some of the recall fondly , the teachers who had motivated them and mentored them .
It would be far more productive if we instead discuss how we could improve the schools further . Efforts must be taken to improve the students reading . Parents need to be motivated to be more effective . Parents – Teachers Association has to improve its function to do better and be more productive . The public must take more interest in the Tamil schools near them and continue to monitor its progress and assist when the school is in need or in which ever way they can .

I like to mention about SRJK ( Tamil ) Pondok Tanjung . The school’s regular passing rate for UPSR is about 16 % . Last year they manage to achieve about 66% . Out of 8 students who sat for the exam , all but one failed . One reason was because I was monitoring the progress of the school . It was one of the first school which I adopted as my Rotary Club project when I became the president . Every week I used to call the Headmaster to be updated . When a student performed badly , I made sure the Headmaster finds out why and when it was necessary we made a visit to the students houses . With me constantly running after the Headmaster , he had to run after all the teachers . Everyone had to do their work .

It is time politics should be left outside the school compounds . We as a public should start showing our interest in all the Tamil schools . Those who are selfishly pocketing the funds must be aware that we are watching them . We must form a board in every Tamil schools to monitor the misuse of funds and instead of waiting for the Government handouts we must go out to raise funds for upgrading of the schools .

I know this is not just the talk . I have seen how we can perform miracles when we are united . The SRJK ( Tamil ) Ladang Lauderdale Estate project had many responds . The effort to build the extra class room is on the way . With the attention from members of MI Club from all over Malaysia and overseas , I am sure the school will perform better in the next few years .If we can improve one school at a time , soon all out Tamil schools will start to fare better .

Rome was not built in one day and the journey of 1000 miles starts with the first step . It would be good if any Tamil school teachers or Headmaster could participate actively in MI Club and give us a clearer views on Tamil schools and their needs .
Tamil schools are here to stay and all efforts will be taken to preserve them .
DR.SREEDHARAN MBBS, PHF, FAGE