Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Which is why we no speakee Engrish

I posted this as a request from a concern parent & patriot.
I also posted this because I agree with it.
AND because I wanted to show you there are people like Melody who's a patriot AND not afraid to say it!

But she not so smart. She thought this letter to The Star will get published. NOT!

Which reminds me. Is not learning English beneficial? I think it is. This way we can continue to say "Tak faham lah" when we are caught in foreign countries without declaring bags full of moolahs?

OK..leelian & melody! This one's on me!

Melody writes:
"As a concern parent and an English teacher myself, I have been following this matter of the reversal of the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English to Malay with anxiety and disappointment.

Prior to this decision when the Prime Minister was still saying that they will study all concerns seriously before making a decision, I was very confident that our wise leaders and authorities will make the obvious decision to continue in the usage of English in these subjects as it is indeed the way to ensure our country's continual development and success for our future generation.

I know that the Government has made its decision.
I believe that the decision was made considering all parties involved. However in their implementation, I do believe that the Government could give consideration to special schools to continue in the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English. Do let the rakyat choose, let the parents and educators choose which medium would be best for the students and country.

So many people have written in, more so for English as there are so many clear cut and tangible benefits and advantage to our country and our people. Let’s not hide behind the fact that we need to strengthen Bahasa Malaysia and all the patriotic reasons for it. Yes Bahasa is the National Language and will always be the language that unite all races in this 1Malaysia concept.

There’s no threat at all to the importance of Bahasa. It doesn’t mean that we’re less patriotic or not keen about Bahasa Malaysia when we want to continue in the PPSMI..

In New Strait Times Aug 9 paper, ‘It was a matter of survival’ Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin acknowledged that the move to abandon
the policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) had been an ‘unpopular’ one.

Yes, it is an unpopular one for most parents with school going children and patriotic Malaysians who have a love and concern for the country. Economist, politicians, Industrialist and educators who want to see development, progress and success for the country know that this is really several steps backwards for Malaysia when we abandon PPSMI.

To quote the Deputy Minister further,he says the government had to pull the plug on the policy because it would have failed millions of Malaysian pupils.

The irony of this statement is that if PPSMI is not carried out, the government would have stifled and failed millions of abled Malaysian students who otherwise would have been instrumental in bringing development and being in the forefront of the world and the pride of Malaysia but for their lack of the English Language Skill.

Rural students are disadvantaged with PPSMI but it doesn’t mean the whole cohort of students have to abandon PPSMI so that we will all be backward in terms of the language. Rural students need more concerted help in English, that is the Education Ministry should send more trained English teachers and use special computer assisted English programs for them as advised by Dr Mahathir.

Six years is not sufficient time enough and commitment to see the PPSMI program through. Now we expect thousands of students caught in between to make the switch. Then again, for the final product, imagine having to do Science and Mathematics in Malay all throughout your primary and secondary education and then having to do a complete switch to English in the tertiary level. How bewildering it would be and our students could never compete internationally as this is the lingua franca of the world.

Malaysia would stand to lose if we allow a whole new generation of our young people to come up weak in English especially in Science and Mathematics. Every aspect of our economic life will be affected. Tourism a very competitive industry will be a sham if our people can’t even communicate with our guest visitors let alone sell our country convincingly. We are already losing out to our neighbours as many of these international tourist bypass Malaysia to go to Thailand or Singapore.

Then again, our government wants to establish Malaysia as an education centre or hub. How will it be possible for us to attract international students to do professional courses of study here in English if we ourselves are not producing a crop of Malaysians academics proficient and competent in the language to teach and converse in. We have an edge above our neighbours like Singapore and Thailand in terms of cost of living and could easily attract a large pool of international students as seen in our private tertiary institutions today. What will all this amount to if we abandon PPSMI?

I must say that I have the utmost regards for our former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who has the foresight to see this PPSMI through. In order for our country to attract multinational corporation investments and build on our multimedia super corridor etc we have to have a nation of people proficient and able to communicate effectively and competently in this language.

We are ahead of our Asean neighbours as our people are better proficient in English due to the British Legacy and heritage. Today, even China, Thailand and other countries are aware of this and thus are fast catching up, brushing up in English, knowing that this is the language of commerce and development. Students of these countries are clamouring to learn English, knowing that they are disadvantaged.

Today when we send our JPA scholars or students overseas for further studies, where is their standing in the world stage? Are they cowering in inferiority because of their language handicap in English just like the Thais, Indonesians or Chinese from China or are they the pride of our Nation in that they are on level playing ground with others, being competent and proficient in the language? Are they publishing paper in their field of study in Bahasa or English? World recognition only comes when it is published in the language of Science and technology that is English.

I am thankful that the Government apologized to the PTA (Parent –Teacher Association) which wanted to convene to discuss this matter and is listening to the voice of the rakyat.

There are still many concern parents and teachers who wanted to retain the policy or at least have a choice of the language medium of their children’s school. Let’s make it a win win situation by allowing the choice of special schools for different needs. In allowing this route, we ensure our survival in the world and yet cater to specific needs of our country. I’m just one of the thousands of parents.



Anonymous said...

Come to think about it, perhaps this stupid Gomen policy will eventually backfire as the Chinese will continue to learn Mandarin. China will be the centre of the universe again and since most Chinese will continue to pick up Mandarin, they can still do business with China. However, the best outcome is to kill off not English but BN so that PR can allow meritocracy to flow again.

Anonymous said...

99% of present teachers cant use proper ENGLISH to teach laa : eg....
then = than , price = prize , advise
= advice, practise = practice,
conscience = konsains ? .....sigh.

5-2=3 five bushes two is tree !
CO2 = car burns die outside !

since 2003, 3.1 billions wasted on courses , allowance & teaching aids ( many terhilang & STOLEN ) !

NOW, 5 billions for the conversion ...SIGH !!

GobloKing said...

fearless anons!
who should we blame but the gomen for promoting peter's principles to the max?

After all in the world according to racsists, our country's resources belongs to the majority NOT the minority, so the minority either hoofs it or suck it up

Which is why, no matter WHO the opposition is, ppl will vote for them...like ANY change is better than NO change!

oh oh....looks like with me writing this I will get yet another slew of hate mails (which I promptly delete anyways)!

Anonymous said...

Hi ^^

Before I say anything, I am a Malay, and very much into pro-choice *I adore Holland which to me is the nearest country to democracy*

Having said that, here's my opinion on PPSMI:

1. I'm honestly against it. Not because it didn't benefit rural students. Not because it didn't benefit students who are weak in English. I believe that a country is build by its people who can produce knowledge in their own language. Japan, Germany, Holland, Finland, Korea, Arab countries etc used their national language to produce their technologies and their knowledge. People look up to these countries for their R&D.

2. When I went to Japan last month, my host family said that the reason why they chose Malaysia as the first SEA country to visit was because it was affordable, beautiful, politically stable, and the people mostly can speak basic English. We always assume that Malaysians can't speak English. People from Romania, Turkey, China, Mexico, Brazil speak lesser English than us. That doesn't make them turning their education system into a whole different language.

3. My family understand very little English. I learned by myself, watching English TV shows, listening to English songs, read English books and magazines and joined English based club and debate team. Now, that I'm into Japanese entertainment industry, I'm learning Japanese through the same method, and it's proven to work wonderfully. Language can't be forced. We have to want to learn it. How to encourage people to learn it is something else ^^

It's getting too long *sorry!* But I like the idea of giving choices to individual schools on the language they want to use for teaching.

My friend pointed out something interesting to me awhile ago. If you go to an international conference, take a look at the language that the delegates used between people from their own countries. While everyone speaks in the national language *or the common language in the country* only Malaysians speak in English to each other.

I ended up speaking in basic Indonesian, Tagalog, Japanese, and basic Mandarin with them because my Malaysian friend doesn't want to speak in Malay with me. He said he can't speak Malay ^^

p/s: I love this kinda entry ^^ Thanks to my friend Denise for linking it to me in her LJ ^^

GobloKing said...

Hi salwap!
Your friend the Malaysian says he cant speak Malay? Then HE should have his citizenship papers examined.

We should ALL speak Malay.

Dont get me on the subject of reverse snobbishness!

Aint nobody can tell me they have been abroad so long they've lost their motherland tongue.

I've been away the length of a generation & yet my bahasa comes back to me quite well. Just speak slowly - that's all I ask.

Salwa. You mentioned those in other countries who were able to produce great results - despite not speaking English.

About those fr other countries who dont speak english. They dont speak english but they sure can read english. That's my observation. Many will be shy to speak it, but boy! they sure can read it!

I believe too that it is the fundamentals in a country which promotes knowledge & development.

And this is called the practice of meritocracy - where the best, regardless of race or creed - are given the opportunity to develop & be developed.

thks for coming to the site.