Promote Mandarin Council

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The Promote Mandarin Council is an organisation established in 1979 as part of then-PM Lee Kwan Yew's programme to promote mandarin as the preferred language amongst Chinese Singaporeans.

Background[edit]

In 1966 the Singapore Government institutionalised a bilingual education policy, under which Singaporean students were required to learn both English and their 'designated mother-tongue'. For ethnic-Chinese Singaporeans, the designated language was Mandarin, in line with the national language policy pursued in both Nationalist and Communist China. The Goh Report, an evaluation of Singapore’s education system by Dr. Goh Keng Swee, claimed that less than 40% of the student population managed to attain the minimum level of competency in two languages.[1] The Government then alleged that learning of Mandarin amongst the Singapore Chinese was hindered by the home use of the native languages of the various Chinese sub-ethnicities. These languages included Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese and Hakka.[2][3] Since then, the Singapore Government has pursued a hostile stance against these various languages, and has promoted the utilisation of Mandarin as a universal mother-tongue amongst the Singapore Chinese.

Establishment[edit]

In 1979, PM Lee Kwan Yew decided to establish the Promote Mandarin Commission as an organisation focused entirely on the promotion of the Mandarin language, with the initial goal of eliminating all other Chinese languages in Singapore within the proceeding 10 years. In 1998, the Commission was officially renamed as the Promote Mandarin Council.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'The Goh Report'
  2. ^ Manfred Wu Man-Fat, "A Critical Evaluation of Singapore's Language Policy and its Implications for English Teaching", Karen's Linguistics Issues. Retrieved on 4 November 2010
  3. ^ Bokhorst-Heng, W.D. (1998). Unpacking the Nation. In Allison D. et al (Ed.), Text in Education and Society (pp. 202–204). Singapore: Singapore University Press.

External Links[edit]