SERDANG: Learning the Chinese language is becoming more popular among Malays and Indians in vernacular schools.
The SRJK(C) Serdang Baru 2 is a shining example, with 279 non-Chinese pupils taking the language classes.
Among them are Alyssa Dania Nurul Syahidah, 11, who is determined to master a second language.
"My father taught me how to read and write in Chinese since young," said the Year Five pupil during a Chinese calligraphy contest organised by the school in conjunction with the Chinese New Year.
Also participating in the event were Jaganraj Vijan and Nur Elyana Hasruddin, both 11.
"I don't find it difficult to write Chinese characters because I attend tuition classes on the subject," said Jaganraj.
Nur Elyana was brimming with confidence, saying: "I believe I will win."
The school's board of governors chairman Datuk Yen Yuen Choy said there was a rising number of non-Chinese pupils enrolling in the school.
"Our school has facilities such as a sports complex and an auditorium and this is a plus point," he said.
Yen, who has served as chairman for 16 years, said he took pride in the school's multi-racial pupil mix as "diversity is our strength."
Headmaster Sit Kit Keong said parents admired the school's academic culture, adding that it had a 65% average pass rate in the UPSR exam.