The relaxation of the current requirement for Tamil to be taught as an additional language in secondary schools will produce more Tamil laureates and writers in Malaysia.

Former head of Universiti Malaya’s Department of Indian Studies, Associate Professor Dr M. Krishnan, said prior to this many Indian students from Tamil schools could not continue learning the subject at the secondary level due to the minimum of 15 students required for classes to be held.

“Now, if the condition is relaxed, it is bound to produce more students who want to pursue Tamil literature at a higher level.

“They will also have more opportunities to become Tamil Language lecturers after pursuing their studies in the language at the tertiary level,” he said when met by Bernama after the opening ceremony of the 11th International Tamil Research Conference at Universiti Malaya (UM) here today.

Earlier, when officiating the event, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pledged to discuss with Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek how the minimum number of 15 students needed for Tamil to be taught as an additional language in secondary schools can be reduced further.

Krishnan, who is also Editor for the Tamil Malar daily, described Anwar’s readiness to encourage more Indian students to learn their mother tongue as a reflection of his admiration for the Indian community in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Universiti Malaya Department of Indian Studies Senior Lecturer Dr Silllalee Kandasamy the relaxation of the condition will ensure that the rights of all races are protected.

Also welcoming Anwar’s announcement of the RM2 million additional allocation for the department, he said it will help the department boost research efforts on the Tamil language and Indian culture.

“I am very pleased with the allocation given as it will fulfill the needs of students and for infrastructure as well as to undertake new research works,” he said while noting that this was the first time the department has been given such a huge allocation from the government.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency