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Thinniesh VP

on 5 May 2014

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Background Community Education of Ethnics in Malaya
English Vernacular School
- English education began to grow in Malaya after the establishment of the Penang Free School in 1816.
- Most Chinese and Indian communities residing in the city had the opportunity to enter that school, while for the Malay community, the upper class is given more priority than the lower class of Malays
(Chelliah 1940)
- This school leavers have the opportunity to pursue college and university either within or outside the country.
- They also will be able to hold certain positions in the colonial administration, as well as highly regarded by the community.
- Process to implement the
National Education Policy
as a core social cohesion have been faced with a challenge, especially after independence.
- Education policy development process can be divided as follows:
Education Policy from 1945-1970
- This period is to foster the spirit of social solidarity in the field of education but unable as each race seeks to defend the education system and their native language.

Car-Saunders Committee 1947
- To develop university-level education in Malaya.
- The goal of consolidation through the use of Malay as the medium of instruction is difficult to achieve because the non-Malay community see that the move could threat position of their language.
- Chinese & Indian communities suggested that their language and cultural value systems continue to be protected
(Fennell 1968)
- For the Malay community, differences in opininon occurs between the educated traditious Malays and English-educated Malays.
- However, English-educated Malays suggested that the opportunity is open to the Malay community to enter the English education (Fennell 1968).

History of Education in Malaysia and ethnic relations
Language and education are two things that are closely related where through education, language can be protected and it potrays the soul of a nation.
The heritage value of different cultures and civilizations of each ethnic community in Malaysia trying to defend their education system causes difficulty in implementing Malay as the national language.
Such conflicts have occurred in countries such as France, the United States and Thailand.
Preference is given to native language or initial community that can make a difference in the occupied country (Huntington 2005).
In the context of Malaya, colonial has the key role in determining the constitution of the educational system.
During the period of colonization for 130 years, the British government implemented the policy of divide and rule(dasar pecah & perintah) by separating race with their community. It's aim is to prevent conflicts between each other.
a) Malay Community:-
- Malay community is formed in accordance with the system of values ​​and customs of the Malay.
- In the initial stage, two type of school were built namely informal schooling where hut school which emphasizes the use of Malay and Arabic as the language of instruction & Malay vernacular schools which is built by the British government where the Malay language is maintained as the medium and focus is more on the basics such as reading, mathematics, writing, knowledge of carpentry, weaving and agriculture to meet the needs of rural life (Chelliah 1940).
- Informal schooling involves religious school, religious school folk, cottage schools and madrasah that emphasizes reading al-Quran, al-Hadis and religious issues financed by certain individuals.
- Qualified Malay school leavers will be able to continue their studies to Sultan Idris Training College (MPSI) but they do not have the opportunity to hold a high position due to lower qualification compared to those who graduated with an English school.
- In fact, graduates from both types of schools were not accepted to serve in the British administration (Roff 1975).
b) Chinese Community:-
- Their education is based on receipt of a Confucian teachings that emphasize the importance of education at the primary and higher education, the majority of Chinese communities to set up schools in every province and in new countries they occupied.
- They hold to their belief that only through education could change the fate of their property and status to a higher level
(Wang, 1991)
- Education curriculum more to the understanding of classical Chinese literature (1975 tablets).
- British
policy opens opportunities for the establishment of the Chinese vernacular schools that reinforces Chinese based values ​​such as Chinese maintained as a medium of instruction, curriculum, teachers and textbooks are based in China.
- The school was founded and funded privately by Chinese Chambers of Commerce and is protected by the Chinese Association (Huatuan). It then growed rapidly as institution for academia, culture, and Chinese languange. Besides, this school has the full support of the Chinese community.
- The school also provides education at primary and secondary schools
(Thock 2005)
- During 1920's, the rise of nationalism in China such as the Kuomintang and the Communist ideology has seeped/entered into Malaya by Chinese vernacular schools. It's anti-imperialist and anti-British sentiment in turn has influenced the Chinese community widespreadly.
- As a security measure, the British act decisively to enact Registration Enactment School to enable them to control the Chinese vernacular education and reducing full intervention of the Chinese Association.
- Thus, beginning in 1924, most schools receive financial aid and monitored by the government
(Tan, 1987; Chai 1977)
, however the effort was less successful because of the mutual feeling towards the country of origin has sparked resistance from some Chinese communities.
c) Indian Community:-
- The arrival of the Indian community in Malaya kept growing at around 1880-1890 to meet the requirements of the British rubber market to Western Europe.
- Tamil vernacular schools was established by the estate management, and the application of Indian values given priority by the Indian community.
- Among them, the use of Tamil as the medium of instruction, the course of teaching and teaching staff brought from India.
- However, with a poor environment and more emphasize on primary school causes parents to pay less response and support
(loh 1975)
- Thus, they do not have the opportunity to hold high positions in the administration of the British in Malaya.
As of 1920,
two British form of education
made as priority:
a) Education provided by the British English (free schools) and the Christian missionaries.
b) Vernacular education that is focused on the lower class Malays. Established by Governor Cavenagh and it focuses on the basics such as reading, counting, writing and agriculture to meet the needs of rural life.

Educational opportunities for the Chinese and Indian communities not only open in English education, but also the opportunity to strengthen the system of education and language inherited from the country of origin. Educational opportunities available for upper class Malays and non-Malays (Abdul Rahim, 2002). Some
views that the Malay community is less able to enter education
because of
three factors
a) agreement confirming the customs and religion can not be sued, intended to prevent agreement Christianity by the missionaries.

b) most of these schools are in the city, hence gives more opportunity for the Chinese and Indian communities.

c) fees are quite high while economic position of the Malay community is backward (Chelliah 1940; Chaesman 1946).
However, some consider this as a trump card to withdraw British Malay community that they do not rise up against the British administration.
After the 1920s, the English education policy is based on the vernacular education system by emphasizing four languages​​, namely,
English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil
Some are saying that this policy is to sow the seeds of separation between the different ethnic communities, which in turn affects the economy and politics.
However, British policy can not be considered purely as a seed separation in ethnic relations, particularly in the education system as the British did not implement the policy of divide command, each ethnic community will be engaged in the community and build its own education system.
During the Japanese invasion
(1942-1945), the Japanese language is used as medium of instruction in education, and the education system based on English and Chinese were blocked.
Japanese administration did not show initiative to interfere with the educational system of Malay (Fennell 1968).
Cheeseman Policy 1946

- Focus towards unity and not separation between the different ethnic communities.
- The main essence of the Cheeseman policy are:
a) Provision for free primary education and allowed to use their native language.
b) English Education will be teached at a low level. Those who are eligible can proceed to secondary level education.
c) Equal educational opportunities for women.
- This policy can not be implemented because of the shortage of teachers for English schools and lack in power to implement it.
Relation between Race Committee

- To foster integration in a pluralistic society to build a new nation that gained independence.
- Members of the committee:
a) Dato’ Onn bin Jaafar (Malay)
b) Tan Cheng lock (Chinese)
c) Thuraisingham (India)
- Methods to achieve unity recommendations are as follows:
i) Malay and English language must be taught in elementary school.
ii) National schools will be established to unite the different ethnic communities.
iii) All the races native language can be taught.
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