Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Reversal of policy on teaching Maths and Science in English

The policy reversal on the teaching of Maths and Science in the English language is now confirmed. This decision of the Cabinet is troubling.

It's not so much about my having one child that will be affected (She thanked me for the offer of going to a private school but said that she should be able to cope. I told her it's an open offer that she can accept at any time).

Rather, it's about the continued decline of Malaysia's economic competitiveness. The defense of saying that the Japanese and South Koreans were at all times okay with their indigent languages rings hollow. Malaysia is NOT Japan or South Korea. It never will be. I'm too tired to categorically explain why we aren't and, shall never be.

And, whatever the attempted spins, it IS a politically-motivated decision that panders to language chauvinists within the Malay and Chinese communities in Malaysia. The aphorism that politics makes strange bedfellows rings very true in this matter. And, now that they have won their war, let us watch them resume their ugly communal battle.

Will this policy reversal benefit UMNO? Will it win votes in the 13th General Elections?

If by allowing the Malay community, especially in the rural areas, to crawl back under the tempurung is a plus point, then there will be sympathy votes. But, if it is to raise the skills of the Malay community to the point where it meets the new economy of higher income jobs, then, the answer will be moot for at least another decade.

Will this policy reversal benefit the MCA? Will it propel Wee Ka Siong to party leadership? Will it win the MCA more seats?

The Chinese educationists can now rest easy in the thought that their student community will not have the heavy load of studying Maths and Science twice - once in English and once in Mandarin. They can also harbour the delusion that their student community will now be assured of riding the Chinese and Taiwanese gravy train of economic progress. This is delusional because given the exponential growth in skills within China and, given the taut competitive environment within Taiwan, it will take a highly exceptional Chinese Malaysian to succeed there.

The jury will be out on these political questions until the 13th General Elections. And, even then, will the policy reversal be a plus point for the MCA? Or, will issues such as PKFZ impair the MCA even more than the salutary effect of the policy reversal?

This is not a happy day.

9 comments:

donplaypuks® said...

No doubt this is major policy mistake. Dr.M is totally against it.

We will lag behind S'pore even more than before and the SRK's and SMK's will become even more devoid of other races as they flock to private schools or overseas.

When will they ever learn?

Shamsul Yunos said...

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donplaypuks® said...

shansul

be lah a bit relevant and not anally retentive!

ben said...

Today is indeed a very sad day for Malaysia especially those who are underprivileged. It's the responsibility of the govt to equip all rakyats to be employable. The decision to scrap PPSMI is doing the reverse. The wealth divide will be worse. The rich can opt for international schools or overseas education. What about the rest of us ?

It's time that govt discard "I know best" mentality and let the parents/children choose their education. For the opponents of PPSMI, they've the existing schools ie SK, SJKC, SJKT but what about those who are in favour. So I called upon the govt to seriously consider setting up SJKInggeris. They don't need to spend millions. Just convert existing SRKs and SMKs and let us see where the real demand is.

As it is, it is nonsensical to upkeep school with less than 10 students. If you close it, ALL HELL BREAK LOOSE. It's a blatant waste of taxpayers' money.

I am speaking as a parent who went through all my education in SRK and SMK in BM and then abroad in English. I studied Physics, Chemistry, Maths right through tertiary education and therefore, I am more than qualified to give my opinion on PPSMI. It was atrocious. I don't want my children to go through what I went through.

So govt, please start 1 SRJKI and 1 SMJKI in P.Jaya. I bet you my last dollar, DEMAND will outweigh supply ! Cubalah.

hishamh said...

I find it ironic that it's the government and the teachers who are mainly for the reversal of policy, while many parents are against.

de minimis said...

bro hishamh

I believe the polarisation of views in the manner that you have described may be due to the policy makers wanting to pander to what they perceive to be a rich reservoir of political supporters (I have my doubts) and teachers who were taught in the 100% BM curriculum and, who have been unable to teach themselves the English language (which should have made the policy makers wonder how these teachers can supplement their teaching of Maths and Science in ANY language if they are not comfortable with the primary language used to publish any development in Science and Maths i.e. the English language).

Patricia said...

No, this is not a happy day. I say the same on the English Cottage. A sad day indeed.

hishamh said...

Yes, the long term solution is better teachers (in all respects), rather than bringing standards to the lowest common denominator.

Hear us out said...

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