‘Single stream system good but not easy’

PUTRAJAYA: Although the establishment of a single stream national school system may be the way towards greater national unity, it is a "sensitive matter", said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

"We want a country with peace and harmony, but how do we achieve national unity? There were suggestions to start with schools.

"This is a matter that is very sensitive. It's a political landmine because we have a system with different school streams," Najib said at a National Transformation dialogue with young civil servants today.

"It is not creating a Chinese medium or Tamil school, but one national school where the national language is the medium, empowering the English language and having strong elective subjects like Mandarin and Tamil language and maybe Arabic as well.

"A student would be able to learn three languages. This must be added with a good quality education and a multiracial group of teachers instead of just one race."

While stressing that it had not been decided yet, he said it is important for Malaysians to find ways to achieve unity.

"I am not suggesting but I want to imagine this because everyone mentioned the desire for unity. All mentioned that it should start from schools but no one suggested how we can do it," he said.

This is not the first time such a suggestion has been raised, many educationists and professionals have called for a single stream school to create stronger unity from young.

However, the issue is one that is mired in politics.

At the beginning of the session, Najib asked civil servants to think about the kind of Malaysia they want by 2050 and how to achieve that aspiration while looking at the roles of civil servants.

He urged them to be facilitators to serve the people better and not just regulators.

"I don't want an incremental increase for the country, I want a quantum leap for Malaysia. We must push the boundary, don't accept mediocrity, don't accept 'lebih kurang'.

"I don't want to hear the word 'lebih kurang' or 'okay'. We must always push ourselves to the limit and even beyond the limit collectively so that the outcome would be more complete and meaningful," he said.