Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good Piece of Opinion

I'm really unmotivated at work today, although I have few deadlines to meet. I was browsing the internet, reading news and articles. I'm still very frustrated over the whole PPSMI issues although it has been quite sometime ago to the ever changing political news. I'm really glad to read this piece of opinion are being published on TheStar's opinion section, here's some capture from the original article:

Numerous feedback has been received by both the Government and the mass media on the issue. Some want to make English a compulsory examination subject, some want the Government to allow English medium schools or have more English classes, etc.

To me, it was a sad day when the announcement was made to reverse the decision made seven years ago. The policy of teaching Maths and Science in English had incurred much public funds to realise the goal and aspiration of the previous government under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. To the tax-payers, it was a mere waste of public funds.

One thing we have to be clear is that English will never make any headway in our education system unless there is strong political will in wanting every student to master that language, both spoken and written, at least to a competent level where they can engage the world at large.

Having more teaching periods and more English teachers will not at all bring the desired results unless there is that potent force to place English as a “must pass” subject at least at the SPM level.

To a large extent, the teaching of Maths and Science in English was very much politicised. Apparently, those who were for the reversion applied their heart instead of their mind on such an important issue.

In short, how else can we see the improvement of English among our students unless it is made a compulsory paper?

Another point is that we cannot afford to allow our education system to undergo frequent changes that do not benefit students at all.

In fact, the reversion of teaching Maths and Science to Bahasa Malaysia and the vernacular languages has in a way confused and complicated students as they have to make necessary adjustments to the policy prior to the decision made in 2002.

Many concerned parents and students are considering other options such as sending their children to international schools, Singapore, or countries such as the UK, Austra­lia, and New Zealand for their education.

Looking back, many may not look at the British colonists who colonised the then Malaya kindly, except for introducing to us their Westminster system of government, impressed us with their football, cricket, and giving us rubber seedlings, among others.

But at least the British did not withhold what was good for the country in the midst of their exploitation of our natural resources. One of their greatest “imports” to the then Malaya was that they taught us English, which was by then a widely used international language of communication.

A look at countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, and many South American countries which were once under the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese or French occupation would find to our dismay that these countries till today do not benefit much from their colonial rulers, except inheriting poverty and an unstable system of government of which they have not comprehended at all till to this day.

It is sad that Malaysia which was once an English-speaking nation is now struggling to master English. The British gave us a headstart but we did not capitalise on that advantage. In fact, we “butchered” English and labelled it as a colonial language we can live without.

I shall write my opinion soon.

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