Editor's note: Education is one of the many hot button issues which have created deep divisions among Malaysians.

Over the years, parents have lost confidence in national schools for a variety of reasons. Some of them have instead opted to send their children to vernacular and private schools.

This special report is not arguing for the abolition of vernacular or private schools. After all, every parent should have the right to choose how their child is educated.

That said, ways have to be found to make national schools the preferred choice for parents as they once were.

The rot in our education system not only affects the future of our children but also our country. There must be a national conversation, not matter how difficult, on this very important issue.

By Aidila Razak, Malaysiakini, 30 August 2019