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An Oily Situation In Education

Published by SchoolAdvisor on Jul 08, 2019, 09:14 AM

Malaysia, a truly beautiful country and yet a slippery road downhill when issues hit close to home, the talk of the town is none other than palm oil. If you do not know what we are talking about, here is a recap of what took place.

There was a short video clip that surfaced in the realm of social media recently about an international school in Kuala Lumpur that held a student performance on the negative impact of cultivating palm oil and tied it to deforestation and felling trees.  

School Advisor recently received a secular from the Ministry of Education, Private Sector Division on the teaching and use of materials as a source of propaganda which has elements that indoctrinate students. 

In the secular which was written in Bahasa Malaysia, it was said that the ministry received complaints on a particular school's students performance that has anti-palm oil propaganda. They go on to state that such stance goes against our country's policy and not to mention how it will smear the name of Malaysia amongst international and local students alike. 

It goes on to state that the ministry will not compromise on their stand for materials that have elements of propaganda within the private education institutions. Serious action will be taken against the institution that condones or support such an ideology. 

Just last month, our Prime Minister said that the assumptions that palm oil cultivation activities the country affects the natural ecosystem are not true and that the international community should not assume as such. 

School Advisor would like to ask parents, Should schools be strong-armed into such thinking with fear of repercussions or should there be freedom of thought for our students?  Theresa Kok told the press that would welcome the school to understand the efforts being made by the government to improve and preserve the environment. Could there be a middle ground to the issue? 

UPDATE

The school in question have met with Theresa Kok and has explained that the situation that has seemed to be resolved. She appreciated the visit and valued the sincerity of the school.  Kok further states that the issue at hand is not about stifling freedom of expression but it is to promote a better and fuller understanding of both sides before making any assumptions. 

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