Symposium & Roundtable Discussion:
Malaysian Schooling System For A Pluralistic Society – Is It Working For Our Children And Communities?
Co-Organised by: KLSCAH Social Economic Committee & Agora Society Malaysia
Date: 12/1/2020 (Sunday)
Time: 10.00am – 1.00pm
Venue: The Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
Medium: Malay and English
As early as 1956, the education Committee of the Malayan government had already begun to articulate a vision for the country’s education policy. The Razak Report has called for establishing “a national system of education acceptable to the people as whole which will satisfy their needs and promote their cultural, social, economic and political development as a nation”.
Despite much emphasis and efforts have been channelled into this development over the years, many of our children are still struggling to perform well in school, let alone on a global scale such as PISA. Worse still, various communities within our country are very often embroiled in heated debates over issues such as the introduction of Jawi writing in school, race-based enrolment quota imposed on public universities, the talk of abolishing of vernacular schools and etc .. This demonstrates Malaysia’s education policies are still very much divisive and suffering from a conflict of demands.
But what should education in this country be really about? Besides politics, have we now lost sight on other important challenges which our education system is facing? Are we as a pluralistic society capable of seeking consensus and looking for common grounds in our education policies?
Evidently, open and inclusive discussions on these issues and possible resolutions by the public are long overdue. With this concern in mind, Agora Society Malaysia and KLSCAH Socioeconomic Committee are organising this symposium and roundtable discussion focusing on areas below:
• What has worked and what has not worked so far in Malaysia’s education system thus far?
• What are the issues in implementation, and how fair is our education system?
• Multiculturalism—what is our experience? What are the demands made by various communities?
• How could the education system work better for the marginalised groups, e.g. those living in poverty?
• Common ground and conflict resolution in our education system between different race —what is the path forward?
Through this discussion, we seek to listen and understand both the current situation facing our education system, and the paths forward which are agreeable to all. More importantly, we hope to establish a network and platform where members of the public could openly and safely participate and debate about contending issues related to our education.

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