My parents sent me to study in an English medium school for a few simple reasons - the St Xavier's Institution was a premier school and they realised the importance of English. Both my parents were Chinese-educated and Taoists. It did not matter to them that SXI was a missionary school. That was in the 1970s.
Today, it doesn't matter whether our children are studying in a national school or a vernacular school, the fact is that the standard of English has dropped. It is so bad that many of our politicians, who talk so passionately of our local education system, are sending their kids to private or international schools. So, if they are so convinced that our schools are producing the best, then they should tell us why are they sending their kids to these elitist schools? Why aren't their children spending time with ordinary Malaysian kids? For that matter, we should also ask how many of these politicians study in a local university or did they get their education overseas too.
Why have our schools become mono-ethnic? In fact, why do our authorities even allow some colleges to remain almost mono-ethnic? Have our schools become more religious, as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said so many times.
The real issue is not about the kind of schools we have. Our priority should be to provide the best education to our kids. Let's provide our teachers with better salaries and allowances. Let's attract the best talent to teach our children. Let's keep politics out of schools.