New Sunday Times today reported that Ratnam is tipped to lead the inquiry, which was announced by the Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Aziz Shamsuddin on Friday after meeting a 10-man delegation from the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) on the scandal of the racial segregation of students in schools, which goes against the nation-building objective of creating an united and harmonious Malaysian people and society.
Aziz had said that a seven-man committee comprising practising and retired academicians from local universities will be set up next month to probe allegations of racial segregation in schools.
DAP supports the appointment of Ratnam as head of the inquiry committee and calls for a composition of its membership which is fully multi-racial as well as representative of the different cross-sections of society to conduct a balanced and no-holds-barred study of the pernicious practices of racial segregation of students in schools and to recommend solutions to end racial segregation and polarisation of students in the educational institutions.
In this connection, the Inquiry Committee members should be fully briefed of the merits and demerits of the proposed Vision School project, and the reasons for strong objections by educationists to it, as Aziz has reiterated in the Mingguan Malaysia today the mistaken notion that Vision Schools are the best solution to the problem of racial polarisation in the schools.
The Inquiry Committee should conduct public hearings not only into the pernicious practices of racial segregation of students in schools, but also to seek public representations and memorandum on support and opposition to the government’s Vision School proposal as well as to conduct a full survey of the success (or failure) of the national education policy and system to nurture an united, dynamic and harmonious Malaysian nation and people.