Sekolah Kebangsaan were Sekolah Melayu

I wrote and compiled  a piece on my old primary school. It was a Sekolah Melayu when I began  that long journey of being schooled. While writing, and viewed from a different century, I realised the long and illustrious history the school has. It was the first school to be established in that  Malay settlement that predated the town and district of Batu Pahat.

The kampung has been established at least a good fifty years before the first school was established. That was amazingly too long.  Considering the fact that  only in the colonial outposts, the Straits settlements of Malacca, Penang and Singapore, were the only places you could find schools before the turn of the 20th century, you could conclude that the tradition of schooling  had yet to be embraced by the migrants and the  powers that be in the old Malay States or sultanates.

It took a visionary Sultan, Sir sultan Abu Bakar, to transform the land hungry migrants to look beyond land and beyond the archipelago. His travels and acquintence with Queen Victoria obviously  had an influence on him. By now we would have realised the role and influence leaders have on our life. It is therefore not surprising, in the prayers and sermons of the mosques in Johore you will hear this prayer,” O Almighty, endow us with good leaders, give him guidance… ‘ to that effect.

The other point I wish to make here is that, before 1963,  there were Malay schools that have been established all over the country. They were the pride of the Malays. The teachers were the products of the coveted Sultan Idris Teachers Training College. They were amazing in the manner they transformed the migrants to embrace the culture of education through schooling, besides off course their influnce on the political consciousness. The schools were very Malay but worldly or to use the present day term secular.  English was introduced early at standard one.  It was cikgu Ismail Yusof who taught me the first word of english, Humpty Dumpty,….The morning session was the normal  secular schooling and in the afternoon, it became a religious school. Two different schools using the same infrastructure.

In 1963, the Malay schools dissappeared. It became co-educational. From Sekolah Melayu Bagan It became Sekolah Kebangsaan Bagan.

The funny thing was, the Chinese school in the kampung continue to be Sekolah Cina spelled  as china.

Even with the change in name, none of the chinese has ever sent the children to my old sekolah. I do not think, the sekolah has ever recieved any student from the chinese community.

At a time when Sekolah Kebangsaan are under heavy scrutiny for being too Malay, too Islamic, I find it to be grossly one sided and unfair to solely blame the sekolah kebangsaan, without understanding and  looking at the history of the schools.

In 1963, The Malay schools were hijacked, a word purposely chosen,  yet it is still devoid of participation from the other communities. Again after sekolah melayu became Sekolah Kebangsaan, numerous hijackings took place by  half baked educationists, narrow minded nationalists and islamists, chauvinist vernacular educationists,  capitalising on the apathetic majority and spineless politicians.

 Isn’t  it  actually chauvinism that is raring its ugly heads? I say,  Yes. I say blame it on  the “could not care less, silent majority” in all communities for allowing the chauvinists and ultras in their midst to manage their destiny. As the middle class is usually  considered as the conscience of societies or communities I say blame it on the irresponsible, apathetic, “misbehaving” middle class for the predicament we are in today.

Note: I wrote a piece ” the misbehaving middle class” about 10 years ago. Watch out for its posting.


8 Responses to Sekolah Kebangsaan were Sekolah Melayu

  1. ayyub says:

    From merdeka to decades after (dulu, kini dan selamanya?), students from sekolah melayu, sekolah kebangsaan or even sekolah rendah kebangsaan (I’m adding sekolah wawasan, sekolah bestari and the more recent sekolah cluster) are victims, or I might say guinea pigs to the experimentation of producing a supreme national education system. Unfortunately, I can’t see any rigid accomplishment. Education system changes nearly as rapid as the changing of the portfolio ministers after each and every general elections. Is it based on national interest or just different individuals making prominent statements/policies?

  2. mooke says:

    lewat akhir tahun 80-an dan awal 90-an, kanak-kanak di lorong tempat saya tinggal semuanya menghadiri sekolah kebangsaan. bemula tahun 92, saya perasan, si derrek chan mula ke sekolah cina.

    tahun 96 – adik saya chebong 90% pelajar dalam kelasnya melayu dan india sahaja. ke mana anak anak cina?

    sekarang anak cina semuanya ke sekolah cina. di lorong saya semuanya ke sekolah cina.

    sekolah sri kelana sudah menjadi sekolah melayu. tidak menarik. pujian harus diberi kepada sekolah taman megah kerana mampu menarik berbilang bangsa.

  3. inspigoblog says:

    MALAYSIAN MALAYSIA. Should vernacular schools be allowed to exist? It is a right enshrined in the constitution so they insist.
    If malays want to exercise their rights, should there be malay schools for malays who want to retain the malayness, leaving sekolah kebangsaan the hotpot of malaysian malaysia?
    Just thinking outside the box, i think we should encourage srjk(melayu) leaving sekolah kebangsaan to promote and to focus on the malaysian malaysia concept. then we would be able to know, what malaysian malaysia concept is all about and allow the communities to walk the talk.

  4. azie says:

    Saya tidak tahu adakah ini satu kebetulan tapi yang saya perasan jika sesebuah sekolah kebangsaan itu diterajui oleh seorang pengetua berbangsa Cina, maka ramailah pelajar cina disitu. Yang saya faham, pegetua Sekolah Taman Megah adalah berbangsa Cina. Begitu juga pengetua Sekolah Kebangsaan Monfort ( sekolah anak saya , Shahid ) di Batu Pahat. Di Monfort, 70% Cina yang lain Melayu, India dan lain-lain mungkin. Contoh ini menunjukkan yang Cina berminat untuk manghantar anak-anak mereka ke sekolah kebangsaan. Cuma mungkin educators orang melayu need to prove something to them yang pertama that they could lead the various races of students, integrate and communicate with them using the global language ie. English and betullah….to be able to walk the talk.

  5. mooke says:


  6. […] Sekolah Melayu Lenyap “Dikebangsaankan” Pertama sekali saya kesekolah, saya kesekolah Melayu. Dimanakah saya bolih cari Sekolah Melayu sekarang? Saya bolih cari sekolah cina, sekolah jepun, […]

  7. babboon says:

    sk sri kelana tidak menarik??? sekolah melayu?? rasanya sekiranya anda nk kategori sekolah melayu(sekolah sri kelana) tidak menarik, anda juga sebenarnye cuba untuk menkategorikan bahawa MALAY COLLEGE KUALA KANGSA ( which is malay school) sebagai x menarik, walaupun x mnarik, tp SEKOLAH MELAYU TERSEBUT TELAH MELAHIRKAN RAMAI BANGSAWAN… think about it……….

  8. inspigoblog says:

    miss baboon,
    saya syorkan sdri membaa ketigatiga podting yang berkaitan dengan sekolah kebangsaan, srjk dan bezanya dengan sekolah melayu. Banyak sekolah kebangsaan yang asalnya sekolah melayu. saya katakan kalau bangsa lain dan juga ramai dikalangan orang melayu sendiri punya masaalah dengan sekolah kebangsaan apkata diadakan semula sekolah melayu.
    ciriciri sekolah melayu hanya ada tinggala di dsekolah berasrama penuh dan MRSM.
    sRK sri kelana adalah sekolah kebangsaan yang cuba dimelayukan. Kalau nak jadi sekolah kebangsaan jadi sekolah kebangsaan betul. Kalau nak sekolah melayu perjuangkan dia . Klau kaum cina dan india ada SRJK mereka kenapa melayu tidak ada sekolah melayu???

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