By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Oct 23: A delegation from the United Chinese School Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) had an informative meeting with the Ministry of Education’s Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) Special Review Committee chairman, Eddin Khoo, in Kuala Lumpur today.
Led by Dong Zong chairman Temenggong Datuk Vincent Lau Lee Ming, the Sarawak delegation comprised of Sarawak United Association of Chinese Independent Secondary School Management Board vice chairman Datuk Richard Wee and its chief executive officer Hong Woan Ying, as well as the Association of Boards of Management of Aided Chinese Primary Schools Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divison president, Jonathan Chai Voon Tok.
According to Wee, the delegation shared views about UEC, presented Sarawak’s experience on UEC, as well as various important input for the committee to finalise its report to be submitted to the Ministry of Education (MoE).
“The committee is collecting information, findings and suggestions as they are compiling a report including recommendations to be submitted for the MoE to consider.
“We had an informative meeting and they tried to give a snapshot of what they have done but they couldn’t reveal too much details,” he told DayakDaily when contacted today.
With input from Sarawak, Wee, who is also Committee Management of Kuching Chung Hua Middle Schools No 1, 3, and 4 chairman, hoped for the best outcome for the status of UEC in the country.
The Chinese community in Sarawak has been hoping that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government will realise its election manifesto of recognising UEC after the May 9 general election last year.
The Sarawak government, during the leadership of former chief minister Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, had recognised UEC in 2015.
Meanwhile, the UEC Special Review Committee had early this month asked for more time to submit its report as there was need to conduct interviews with as many stakeholders as possible.
In a national news portal report, Khoo said the committee had held 72 engagements with at least 500 individuals, involving civil society, youths, political parties, universities, and education excos in Sabah and Sarawak as of Oct 4.
He pointed out that many perspectives on the UEC were contradictory and they were forced to find a meeting point for their conclusions and recommendations.
Khoo also stressed that the UEC issue was complex and not simply an academic technicality, as argued by many parties.
“It is essentially an issue in which a certain type of system has to ‘enter’ another type of system, without any of the conditions or more technical issues being addressed,” he said.
“It has raised fundamental questions about the nature, system and philosophy of education in the country. All of the dimensions brought up during discussions will be elaborated in its report,” he added.
He emphasised that the UEC report was not a zero-sum game, and negotiations and deliberations between all parties were necessary to come to a consensus. — DayakDaily