Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stay the course on English

It appears that there are 7 options for the Minister of Education to mull over:
  1. To continue teaching and learning of Maths and Science in English as it is now.

  2. To use Bahasa Malaysia or pupils' mother tongue as the medium of instruction from the primary school level and English for Maths and Science at the secondary level.

  3. To start using English for Maths and Science from Standard Four right into the secondary level.

  4. To use Bahasa Malaysia or mother tongue at the primary level, and Bahasa Malaysia fully at the secondary level.
  5. Schools to determine the medium of instruction for Maths and Science.

  6. To use Bahasa Malaysia or mother tongue from Standard One to Three, implement bi-lingual use from Standard Four to Six and full use of English at the secondary level.

  7. To abolish the Science subject from Standard One to Three and incorporate teaching of Science in other subjects.
I say just stay the bloody course and stick to Option 1.

None of us will ever, ever lose our identity, ethnicity or nationality. We are who we are. That will never change. But we should think of the future of our children.

Stay the course. Stick to Option 1. That's all I'm saying.


Pat said...

Hear! Hear!


Anonymous said...

All 7 options r exactly what they r - political compromises!

It also shown that we have death-woods who cannot think out of the box, see the forest instead of the wood!

What about the courage of doing the right things & do them right?

Option 1 is just the many trees within the forest. It doesnt address the issue of forest fire. In fact, none of the options r?

Ya, think of our children? With any of those options our children will properly be another generation down the rank of world competitiveness.

The upper & middle classes will probably survive. That left almost all the children of the lower spectrum of the populace forever trap within the economic chasm of 'just surviving'.

Its sad but very REAL.


Hasbullah Pit said...

Bahasa Ibunda sampai darjah 4

de minimis said...


I actually understand your cynicism. But, Life being less than perfect, we push on. I agree that Option 1 isn't the best and, that none are. But, we need to choose and, to help the Minister to arrive at the correct choice (a'la Sir Humphrey Appleby of "Yes, Minister").

It is better to engage than to dis-engage this issue.

Anonymous said...


By the time the ministry decide what to do, one generation is lost in transition. What they don't get is that time waits for no man; it certainly won't wait for our students.

While the country bicker which way is the best, the students are the casualties. That, they don't see.

Pat said...

Yup, CT,

Option 1 so isn't the best. But we must stop changing in mid-stream! There are minds at work here - and we're screwing with them!


de minimis said...

Hi Elviza & Pat (again)

Hisham should stick to Option 1 and improve the qualitative aspects like promoting the good teachers (as opposed to kaki ampu).

Too much money is wasted on buying computers without any decent curriculum to support it.

Too much money is wasted on appointing contractors who are only interested to sub-contract the jobs out to sub-contractors who sub-contract out to more sub-contractors who.... until there is hardly any money left to mix cement with sand and gravel and steel bars.

That's why all schools are cracking up (literally and figuratively).

Focus, Hisham, focus.

Anonymous said...

I fully sokong de minimis, "stay the course on English" and choose option 1.

The problem with MOE (govt in general) is that leadership is non existence. No leadership leads to no confidence. As a result, 'so called nationalists' basically hijacked our education system for their own interest.

The barometer of a good education system is the climate of the tuition industry. When the tuition industry is thriving like now then it's bad news. If students are taught properly and sufficiently in school, do you think as parents we should rob off our children's free time by sending them to tuition. Not forgetting our time taken and petrol for transportation. Indirectly this affects the nation's productivity, afterall we've paid for education via our income tax once. [one of the biggest receipient of annual budget]

The statistics show that there're more chinese students in primary vernacular schools than national schools. The former teachers are supposedly better and more dedicated and they give far more homework and give more teaching hours opposed to the latter. But wait a minute, if that's the case why do they need to send their children to tuition as well. So that means their method of teaching is not very effective either.

My suggestion is that MOE has to lead the way. They need two pronge strategy :-
1) Produce more competent teachers at the training college
2) Teachers already in the pool. - get good retired teachers, like Pat [wink wink], to be buddy teacher for 1 to 2 years until they can find their footing. [train the trainer is the most effective way used by successful companies like McDonald instead of computer which is not only less effective but also a leakage in our economy because it's imported. I am sure the retired teachers will be more than happy to earn some income]

Futhermore, they need to get rid subjects like Moral and Civic education [still can't figure out what's the difference]. A friend of mind in the education industry mentioned that MOE is thinking of offering Moral as a subject for tertiary education. I was stunt!

Provide lessons for those who are interested in 3rd language such as mandarin, tamil, etc. The teaching standard must be as good as the vernacular schools.

Also besides maths & science, we've to include other core subjects like commerce, economics, accounting to be taught in English as well.

If these measures are taken then the national schools will once again the school of choice. The silent majority are normally very pragmatic and capable of reasoning.

Ultimately, isn't the main objective of education is to find the BEST employment.

In conclusion, Hishamuddin has to differentiate between a strategic policy and ineffective implementation. Everyone, including DJZ, would agree that it's ineffective implementation of a good policy that let us down. If he puts the nation before politics, then he'll stay the course on English and our nation's bleak future will also find a silver lining!

Anonymous said...

One only engages if & only when one is geared forward.

Option 1 is liken to throwing cold water at a stray cat in heat at a summer night. The cat calls stopped for just a short while then it's back. No?

How do one deal with death-woods? Engaging them will raise their ego, as if a solution has been reached! A job well-done, wash thy hands & move on. Never mind that that is only hp6, semi-cooked.

Come the new successor, SSDD! The circus repeats & continues, while the future of our kids gets that further away from the break that's so crucial for their competitive well-being.

R the desperation for English instruction so intense that any subjects that r taught in English will do?

R these 'procedure' in all honesty help to improve the standard of English, least to reverse the falling English standard if there is any now?

For the well-beings of our children across the income spectrum, which is not in dispute here, DO a whole-hearted rejuvenation of the whole 'damned' educational system, starting NOW, with the primary years!

Let's all the racial histrionic & political rhetoric in this issue be damned.


Anonymous said...

Oops! Anon 4.21PM was me, ben. Somehow, it didn't register.

gwlnet, if your intention is to study maths & science related degree in mandarin, then I suppose studying it mandarin in primary, secondary is fine.

But from my experience switching from BM to English during my tertiary education for subjects like Chemistry, Physics can be painful and unnecessary.

Anyway, we're living in google, youtube, wikipedia era. Children can quickly check facts without little assistance. The world is indeed flat as Thomas Friedman. Knowledge is at your fingertips if you are hunger for it.