Re: Ministry on quest to end polarisation
- From: "Celeste" <lxianmei@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 11:51:50 +0800
Needless to say, if everyone is equally treated then they'll eventually mix
"Uncle Yap" <yfyap@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
15 March 2006
Ministry on quest to end polarisation
By Koh Lay Chin
KUALA LUMPUR, Tues.
Walk into any public university in the country and this is the likely
scenario: Students of the same race hanging out together.
It is this snapshot which is of concern to many Malay- sians,
including Datuk Mustapa Mohamad.
The Higher Education Minister has directed his ministry's top
officials to focus on the problem of racial polarisation in
universities and cobble together a plan to break down barriers on
Deputy Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said today that racial polarisation
in universities was "a grave concern in the ministry" and Mustapa had
pointed it out during the meeting.
"He has directed all of us, all top officials, that it is imperative
for us to come out with strategies to arrest this threat because we
acknowledge that this is one of the challenges we need to handle. We
need to be hands-on," said Ong after launching the Second
International Conference on Principalship and School Management at the
Universiti Malaya city campus.
Ong also offered his own thoughts on the matter, suggesting that
orientation programmes should be organised in universities to
introduce students to different cultures.
"People are always inclined to look at the diversity but we should be
looking at the similarities," he said.
Racial polarisation in universities is not a new topic. It has been
brought up frequently over the years and the findings of a survey in
2003 involving over 6,000 university students confirmed that students
of different races were not mixing with each other.
Commissioned by the National Higher Education Research Institute
(IPPTN) and conducted by Universiti Sains Malaysia, the survey
revealed that Malay students were least inclined to mix with those
from other ethnic backgrounds.
However, the overall conclusion indicated that even though levels of
polarisation were evident, it was not apparent in lectures, tutorials
and formal settings.
Ong said perhaps the focus should be termed as "enhancing racial
unity" as "polarisation may sound like a sweeping statement".
"We definitely are going to brainstorm. We are new and certainly it is
our duty to identify the problems, areas of concern and explore new
frontiers. We cannot ignore it and we have to find a solution," he
Also present at the event were UM vice-chancellor Datuk Prof Dr Hashim
Yaacob and Federal Territory Education Department director Noor Rezan
*************From Uncle Yap**************
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