Forum: Protect teaching, learning of mother tongue

A Mother Tongue lesson being held.
A Mother Tongue lesson being held.PHOTO: ST FILE

Retired university professor Margaret Chan, in her commentary in The Straits Times, highlighted that from 1999 to 2019, the proportion of Singapore households with Primary 1 children who speak mostly English at home grew from 42 per cent to 71 per cent, 55 per cent to 70 per cent, and 18 per cent to 67 per cent for Chinese, Indian and Malay households, respectively (English, mother tongue and the S'pore identity, Jan 2).

Faced with a new, English-dominated reality and future, we must have the will and determination to take measures to protect our mother tongue languages in schools under the bilingual policy.

We should seriously look into the possibility of amending our Constitution to protect the compulsory teaching and learning of our ethnic mother tongues in all schools.

Teo Han Chuan