TAMIL SCHOOLS

The Tamil language, rooted in antiquity and which flourished some 2,500 years ago, is one of the oldest surviving languages. Interwoven in the culture and religion, the language has become the emotional make-up and identity of the Tamil masses. The Tamil schools form part of a struggle by cultural/language advocates in Malaysia to sustain and maintain that history, arguably at a heavy cost to the development of the human capital.

History and Status

The first Tamil school was set up at the beginning of the 18th century. The 1912 Labour Ordinance compelled the planters to set up ad-hoc schools for children of the plantation labour. The number of schools increased to 333 in 1930, 547 in 1938, 741 in 1947 and to its maximum of 888 in 1957. After the country’s independence, the shift in education policy and the labour migration led to the closing down of many schools. In 1963 there were 720 such schools. By 2000 there were only 523.

Table 1 : Number of Tamil Schools and Enrolment

Year 1957 1970 1980 1990 1993 2000
Number of schools 888 657 589 547 547 524
Number of Student 50,766 79,277 73,958 96,120 104,600 90,280

The setting up of the Tamil schools was primarily meant for the children from the labour class. The majority of the schools were set up in the plantations merely to fulfil the statutory requirement more than to provide a meaningful education. Termed as partially funded schools, these schools did not fall within the government’s public spending expenditure. Located in private lands, they lacked infrastructure, trained teachers and resources, materials and books.

There have been many studies on the Tamil school system – all pointing to the Tamil school system being weak, lacking in facilities with the highest drop out rate and poor performance. None of the studies thus far has put the problem of the Tamil schools in the right perspective. If socio-economic inequality is the determining factor for a child’s performance then what happens to the position of similar children in mainstream education.

Without exhaustive analysis of internal and external factors, it is premature for anyone to suggest that Tamil education is in good conducive condition.

My NADI proposal  

The Education Ministry has given  assurance that it will improve the poor
academic performance in Tamil schools. Proposals include appointing a supervisor for Tamil schools in each state. My NADI will competence damage caused and improve all Tamil schools requirement

Primary education should be made compulsory and meaningful to estate children. Secondly, the ministry needs to ensure that the curriculum addresses the needs of the estate environment.

More importantly it to revamp of Tamil school education is necessary: These schools need financial independence. The ministry needs to look into converting all Tamil schools into fully aided ones and improve the Tamil schools condition.

One strategy is to gather Tamil school heads and teachers for courses and seminars to boost the quality of Tamil education by providing them with new knowledge and skills, new ways of thinking, new methods of teaching and
learning.  Parents are the third target group. Meetings and seminars are held to increase parents’ involvement in all areas which is essential to enhance the children’s development.

There will be implementation of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for all Tamil schools that will be financial and non-financial metrics which will be used to help the myNADI and the government  to define and measure progress toward Tamil school development. KPIs can be delivered through various stages depending on the resource and the magnitude of the schools’ demand and requirement. My NADI will also monitor the KPIs in real-time is known as business activity monitoring (BAM). All activities within the myNADI will be transparent with check and balance.

NO STATE ZONE NUMBER OF SCHOOLS
1 SELANGOR KLANG 13
KUALA LANGAT 13
HULU SELANGOR 9
HULU LANGAT 7
SEPANG 8
PETALING 16
GOMBAK 7
SABAK BERNAM 2
KUALA SELANGOR 22
TOTAL 97
2 KEDAH LANGKAWI 1
KULIM BANDAR BARU 17
KUBANG PASU 3
KUALA MUDA YAN 22
KOTA SETAR 3
TOTAL 46
3 MELAKA ALOR GAJAH 10
JASIN 8
MELAKA TENGAH 3
TOTAL 21
4 PENANG SEBERANG PERAI UTARA TENGAH 10
PULAU 7
SEBERANG PERAI SELATAN 11
TOTAL 28
5 KELANTAN KUALA KRAI 1
TOTAL 1
6 NEGERI SEMBILAN JEMPOL 12
KUALA PILAH 2
SEREMBAN 19
TAMPIN 11
PORT DICKSON 17
TOTAL 61
7 JOHOR KULAI 5
SEGAMAT 12
BATU PAHAT 3
PONTIAN 1
MUAR 11
MERSING 1
KOTA TINGGI 7
KLUANG 17
JOHOR BHARU 13
TOTAL 70
8 PERAK PERAK TENGAH 3
BATANG PADANG 19
MANJUNG 15
HULU PERAK 3
LARUT MATANG SELAMA 17
HILIR PERAK 29
KUALA KANGSAR 11
KRIAN 14
KINTA 23
TOTAL 134
9 KUALA LUMPUR SENTUL 6
BANGSAR 4
KERAMAT 1
PUDU 4
TOTAL 15
10 PAHANG BENTONG 5
BERA 3
TEMERLOH 9
RAUB 4
KUANTAN 3
LIPIS 4
JERANTUT 1
CAMERON HIGHLANDS 8
TOTAL 37
11 PERLIS 1
TOTAL 1
TOTAL   512

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