PUTRAJAYA, April 8 — The Ministry of Education has never denied the rights of Indian students to study the Tamil language at the secondary level.
In a statement issued today following the Malaysian Nanban newspaper report on April 5 titled ‘Why Tamil Is Marginalised’, which was described as unfounded by the ministry that said Tamil language subjects were offered as additional subjects to students who were keen to learn the language at national secondary schools (SMKs).
“The Education Ministry has never implemented policies discriminating against any first languages in the education system in Malaysia and always ensures as a subject, mother-tongue education is implemented effectively and of quality,” the statement said.
According to the ministry, students sitting for the Tamil Language paper in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination showed an increase from 8,107 candidates in 2012 to 9,479 last year.
For the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examination, the number of students who sat for the Tamil paper dropped from 731 candidates in 2012 to 686 candidates last year.
Specialising in teaching the Tamil language in primary schools was also offered at the Teachers Education Institute’s undergraduate teaching degree programme (PISMP) to train teachers in Tamil literature as well as methods and learning of the Tamil language.
“PISMP for specialising in Tamil language for primary school is also offered to train Tamil language teachers to be placed in national schools (SKs) to teach pupils of Indian descent studying there as well as pupils of various descent who are interested in learning Tamil,” the statement said. — Bernama