While school is a place to nurture our young ones and teach them the correct values, schools in Malaysia had been a place where racial discrimination runs rampant and sadly, it has been embedded into our education system too.
Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-ethnic country, so it is normal that schools become a common place where students from different ethnic backgrounds gather and study together.
However, a survey conducted recently found that over 50% of Malaysians have experienced perceived discrimination in education.
Based on a survey conducted by Sekolah Semua, called “Discrimination in Education Survey“, 36% of the above-mentioned group have experienced verbal discrimination, 21% experienced harassment and bullying, and the remaining 18% were denied access to opportunities because of their identities.
It was reported that non-Bumiputera students were more likely to be discriminated when compared to Bumiputera students, with 82% of Chinese, 85% of Indians and 66% of Bumiputera respondents said they experienced race-based exclusion in schools as a form of discrimination.
Among them, Indian respondents reported the highest rate of experiencing verbal discrimination (54%) and being denied access to opportunities because of their identity (40%), as compared to students of other racial groups.
In addition, 87% of Indian respondents reported significantly more experiences of perceived race-based discrimination in schools and that 74% of them were more likely to attribute this experience to teachers.
Meanwhile, non-Bumiputera students (Chinese:36%, Indian: 40%) reported to perceive discrimination from government policies in education than Bumiputera students (Malay: 15%, others: 23%)
What’s more depressing is that majority (54%) of the respondents who reported having these experiences did not report it to either teachers, school administration, parents or the police.
Up to 61% from the group believes that reporting their experience will not make any difference and 48% of those who reported their experience said that no investigation or action was taken by the authorities.
The very first step to get Malaysians united is to disregard our races and recognise ourselves as the ‘Malaysian’ race. However, with the rampant discrimination going on, it seems that the nation have a long way to go in promoting unity.
With the survey conducted by Sekolah Semua, let’s hope that something is being done by the authorities to correct this wrong in our education system.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!