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Penang to host national Tamil education conference

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government will organise a national Tamil education conference on Nov 26 to discuss the future of the Tamil-language schools in Malaysia.

Titled “The Future of Tamil Education in Malaysia Baru”, the two-day conference at a hotel in Perai will see over 300 participants.

The conference is open to the public and will be opened by Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department P Waytha Moorthy will deliver a keynote speech.

Deputy Chief Minister II P Ramasamy said the Tamil education conference would touch on more than 20 topics, including government funding, the creation of the first Tamil secondary school, and the general welfare of Tamil schools in the country.

Ramasamy said the conference would also look into improving the 524 primary Tamil schools in the country by adopting the best practices used by the Penang government in terms of funding.

“We want to drive home the point that mother-tongue education is in the spirit of the Federal Constitution and children have the right to study in their own language.

“At the conference, we will decide if we should have a Tamil-medium secondary school based on the Chinese-medium school model or other models.

“After deliberations, we will submit our findings to the education ministry for its consideration,” he said.

Ramasamy said an invitation had been sent to Education Minister Maszlee Malik to attend the event “many weeks ago” but they had yet to receive a reply.

“We sent a letter to the minister, but it appears it has become a norm for him not to reply to letters. We have sent a letter on an important issue, but he is not even bothered to reply,” Ramasamy said.

He said after repeatedly trying to get Maszlee’s aide, they contacted his deputy Teo Nie Ching, who had replied that she would not be able to make it as she would be away from the country.

Those interested to attend the conference can call 016-447 4738 or 010-563 2279 for more details.

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