Education Ordinance 1952

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The British colonial government had set up the Central Advisory Committee headed by Whitfield to review the Barnes Report and Fenn-Wu Report to restructure a more appropriate Malayan educational policy.  Its recommendations had led to the enactment of the Education Ordinance 1952. It had implemented the proposal from Barnes Report:

  • Establishing a national school system consisting of Malay-, English-, Chinese- and Tamil-medium schools at the primary level.
  • Malay- and English-medium schools at the secondary schools, with a uniform national curriculum regardless of the medium of instruction.
  • Malay-medium schools would be known as “national”, while other languages schools would be known as “national-type”.
  • Enforcement of the Malay and English languages as compulsory subjects throughout the six years of primary education in the vernacular schools.

Other policies includes:

  • The English schools continue to exist.
  • Establishing the Vocational schools for the secondary education.
  • Offer religious studies to Muslim pupils

Similarly, this policy did not receive positive responses, too. The Chinese and Indian community protested the abolition of their own mother tongue as one of the medium of instruction.

The economic condition was poor and there were a shortage of trained teachers for the national schools, as a result, it was not fully implemented.



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