Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Leave politics out of education

Posted by Smookiekins On 5/28/2013 09:13:00 AM
Newly appointed Deputy Education Minister Datuk Mary Yap wants politics to be left out of education as it is about educating the younger generation.

“As an educationist and now as a Deputy Education Minister, I would not like to bring in politics into education because we are educating the younger generation here,” she said after declining to comment on a politics-related question at a press conference after the launch of the Digital Education Show Asia here yesterday.

Yap, who received the Tokoh Guru award last year, added that it was “really alarming” that there was a “culture of getting our younger generation not to appreciate what the Government has done”.

Asked if she considered herself a representative of the Chinese community in the Cabinet, Yap said during her 36 years of service in the Education Ministry, she had interacted with people from all levels and races.

“I have never seen myself as a Chinese per se. But I have seen myself as a Malaysian. I suppose that is the projection of the concept of 1Malaysia,” she said.

However, should the Chinese community face education-related issues, Yap said they could always bring this up to her as it was “part and parcel” of her duties and responsibilities to look into it.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan, who was also present, added that “we will do our best to assist all Malaysians, irrespective of race, religion and background.”

Yap, whose inability to speak Mandarin had been highlighted by various groups, said although she was not fluent in the language, she could still understand Chinese education and its background.

“I'm fluent in Bahasa Melayu and English. I can read and I have what is important officers to help me. They will play a role by giving me advice and reading the Chinese newspapers to keep me updated,” she said.

She said although she did not have the opportunity to attend a Chinese vernacular school, she made sure that her children went to one.

“And now, my grandchildren are going to a Chinese vernacular school. So, it does not mean that when I don't speak Mandarin, I don't know about the Chinese system. I read a lot and I am kept informed so that should not be an issue.

“And if this should be made an issue, it is not a fair assessment,” said Yap.

Source: The Star online


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