Education policies and practices to address cultural diversity: an assessment of Malaysian schools

Malakolunthu, S. (2010) Education policies and practices to address cultural diversity: an assessment of Malaysian schools. In: International Seminar on Cultural Diversity in Schools: Comparative and International Perspectives, 16-17 Sept 2010, University of Geneva, Switzerland. (Submitted)

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The relationship between education and national unity in Malaysia can be put into perspective based on the policies and practices that were introduced before and after 1969, When a racial riot put the efforts of the government to build nationhood at peril. The earlier policies were essentially transitory and transformational to recreate the British educational set lip into an indigenous system. The post-independent Malaysia had accepted the vernacular schools approach from the British to cater for the educational needs of the Malays, Chinese, and Indians, who formed the major groups of the population. Nevertheless, it introduced Malay as the national language and main medium of instruction, and curricular reforms to reflect Malaysia's historicity, geography, culture and economic activities. At that time, national unity was somewhat taken for granted. The 1969 civil war altered the strategic position of the government towards education. The realization was that education had to be coupled with the socioeconomic restructuring of the society; hence, the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970. However, in due course, the new policies were perceived as favoring mainly the indigenous people, which further deepened the divide among the races. In the past decade, specific policies to harness racial unity have been put forth such as the Vision School, Student Integration Plan for Unity, Civic and Citizenship Education, Race Relations education; and most recently, the 'One Malaysia' concept for inclusion. Analyzing the impact of these policies on national unity would help to unravel the nature of relationship between them.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education policy, national unity, racial integration, multiculturalism, inclusion.
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Mr. Mohd Samsul Ismail
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2014 01:11
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2014 01:11

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