16 October 2009

Malaysians still insensitive to each other

It is with disappointment that I note a display of insensitivity at worst, or oversight at best, by the authorities (principal, vice principals, relevant decision making body) at my son's school.

My son attends a Chinese medium school with a long history and well regarded reputation. He sat for 2 papers yesterday, at the start of his year-end final exams. The exams were to continue today and resume after the weekend on Monday 20 October, until Wednesday.

Do you notice anything amiss with the timing of the final exams? I did, the first time I saw the exam notice circular. Deepavali is smack right in the middle of the final exams.

Now, I feel that is inconsiderate and insensitive of the school towards the Indian students in the school. True, their number might be small as it is a Chinese school, still they deserve to have the time and peace of mind to celebrate their festival, just as the Malays have one whole week for Hari Raya and the Chinese also have time off for Chinese New Year. The Indian students in my son's school should not have to be worrying about and revising for exams at the time of Deepavali.

This year, Deepavali falls on a Saturday, which means the Indians don't even get a weekday public holiday, unlike the other 2 major celebrations.

Belatedly, something must have triggered in the mind of the school authorities as the school announced yesterday that exams have been postponed to Monday 26 October. I think having to postpone exams just after one day reflects badly on the planning, sensitivity and most of all, the spirit of unity and muhibbah, on the part of the principal and relevant decision makers in the school. And it is in school, that our children should learn tolerance, respect and consideration for other races and religions. Again, I say, how disappointing.

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