Why Malay parents opt for SJKC?

While there have been sporadic calls for the closure of vernacular schools, there has been an increase in the number of Malay students in Chinese primary schools, better known as SJKC and the reason is not just to learn the Chinese language.

One parent, who wanted to be identified only as Aminah claimed the vernacular school offers more academics compared to other schools.

At first, she opted for a vernacular school for its language benefits, but later found additional advantages it provides.

“As we went along, however, I found that the school offers more than academics and parents are highly involved in their children’s development, something I didn’t see much when attending national schools,” said Aminah from Seri Kembangan.

“I paid an annual computer class fee of less than RM100 and about RM50 for a ukelele monthly class at the school, while I don’t remember paying for other activities,” Aminah said, claiming nominal fees were imposed on the various extracurricular activities, books on the other hands cost her a bundle.

Holistic support

Teachers maintained communication about her daughter’s academics, advocating for holistic support, she said, adding that the school provided convenient after-hours daycare.

Additionally, she noted alumni’s contribute to the school and hold annual fundraising dinners to support the school.

In Ampang Jaya, a parent known only as Noor Hazwani, 36, attributed her decision to enroll her three children in a vernacular school to the significance of Mandarin language education.

“All of them go to a Chinese school, so I can’t compare my children to others who enrol in national schools today, but I observed that they get a lot of homework on a daily basis,” said Hazwani who later revealed that school extra curriculars like gymnastics and robotics were more affordable than private options.

Over the past decade, enrollment of non-Chinese students, notably Malays, in Chinese vernacular schools has steadily increased, reaching 15.33% in 2020 from 9.5% in 2010, according to Ministry of Education data reported by the News Straits Times.

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