Joint Statement Made by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

Joint Statement Made by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

June 20, 2019


The news reports in media stating that a certain number of project assessment reports posted to national-type Chinese primary schools Grade 1 to 3 students are merely in Bahasa Melayu indeed had cast some shadows of doubt among parents. Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are deeply concerned about the matter and herewith forward their stance proper:


  1. Dong Jiao Zong understands through feedbacks from national-type Chinese primary schools in all states that the project assessment reports provided by the Ministry of Education to Grade 1 to 3 students are printed in Bahasa Melayu unanimously and the Ministry of Education has never informed national-type Chinese and Tamil primary schools the availability of other versions. Due to the inherence that the medium of instruction and administration language of national-type Chinese primary schools is in Chinese Mandarin and has since become a norm, some national-type Chinese primary schools believe the said report by right should be in Chinese. In the face of this, they resorted to computer agency, among others, to prepare additional version bilingually or in Chinese while others ‘modified’ the assessment report provided by the Ministry of Education such that teachers could enter additional comments in Chinese. Further, a part of the national-type Chinese primary school teachers explained in Chinese to parents about their children’s learning based on the Bahasa Melayu version.


  1. This incongruence indicates that the Ministry of Education—as what it has been practicing all these years—ignores the existence of vernacular education and implements education measures solely within unitary mindset. Dong Jiao Zong is deeply disturbed by this practice and believes if there is no room for review, it will pose harm to the uniqueness of national-type Chinese primary schools using Chinese as the medium of instruction.



  1. Dong Jiao Zong posits that the Ministry of Education should take the existence of other stream schools seriously and acknowledge their needs are different attributed to their medium of instruction. Take national-type Chinese primary schools for instance, apart from using Chinese as the language of instruction as well as in examinations, the school administration is operating in Chinese Mandarin daily. As such, the announcements released by the schools on a daily basis, including academic transcripts, by all means must be in Chinese and in compliance with their unique characteristic. This act of providing merely Bahasa Melayu version in project assessment reports does not meet the expectation of the stakeholders and thus confuses parents as it not only generates barrier in content understanding but also keeps the parents out of reach of their children’s learning progress. Worse still, it will consequently undermine the nature of national-type Chinese primary schools.


  1. Based on the principle that vernacular schools are currently using their own mother tongue as the medium of instruction, Dong Jiao Zong urges the Ministry of Education to provide different versions of project assessment report to the said schools, take for example, in national-type Chinese primary schools the report should be bilingual both in Chinese and Bahasa Melayu and this is thought to be the correct and necessary approach to comply with national-type Chinese primary schools’ characteristics. Due to the seriousness of the matter, Dong Jiao Zong urges the Deputy Minister of Education, Ms Teo Nie Ching, to see to it and take prompt response to relieve public qualms.