The New Malay Dilemma : PPSMI

I was reading the paper the other day and a few pages were filled with an ancient issue made anew. PPSMI - Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris (Science and Maths in English). As for me, a Science teacher, I do have two thoughts about this government policy.

I would be very happy if Science and Maths were reverted back, taught in the national language. Life would be much easier (for many) and students at least understand whatever they are reading. English is so difficult for bumiputras, being so densely soaked in the negative attitude of laziness and the fear of change. I would be very happy if this government policy is abolished; because it made MY job easier.

But my mind does not agree with my evil soul. PPSMI is indeed a radical way to MAKE sure that the younger generation are aware about the importance of English, not only for studying, but later in life. I almost wept to hear the abyssimal quality of English spoken in class, and the horrific pronounciation of words by people, young and old - everyday. Most students are very afraid to speak in English, because of ridiculation from the peers. Once, I was afraid too... but then strove very hard because of my first love - reading books.

"Reading is the key to success." A very wise word, which shone thousands of years - in any languages or religions. Yet, humans are so... stubborn!! We do know that reading can improve our knowledge and language, yet we are happier not to read. This is indeed a curse to our beloved country. A generation which does not read is akin to a multitude of stupid jackasses!

Two weeks ago I asked my students why these people from various NGOs and societies are so adamant about reverting the teaching back to Bahasa Melayu. One of them answered thus; "I think these old men just want to make a point, a place for them in the History textbook. They never cared if it was right or wrong. They are not students anymore." (He spoke this in BM)

I actually smiled hearing it. My very thought exactly. 


drNO said...

u know what..I have the same thought.
sometimes when they really don't hv any issues to discuss about, one of them who 'gila kuasa' will just create an issue so that people would acknowledge them, and may be vote them the next time there is election in whatever society they r participating. because, sometimes, the issue is not an issue at all. that's politic I guess.

About the PPSMI, from I am still in school, I always prefer it to be taught in English. I am always so ashamed by how the many Malaysians speak english. Be it educated or not. Learning english have to began during primary school. And I would be more ashamed with the existence of some Malaysians that would only smirk if they listen fellow Malaysians speaks english. A few months back, I always got this 'missed calls' from a number that was not in my 'phone book'. I sent text to the no 'I am sorry. Who is this? I am not familiar with your number, can I be of any help'. Well, it happened that it was a wrong number. He/she replied 'woi, poyo. ko ni org mana hah? x reti ckp melayu ke? speaking konon.'
You know what I mean?? They still have this kind of attitude. Pity them.

Farah Aiman said...

saya setuju!

Shadowthorne said...

DrNo, about the attitude of the misscaller... it's the very typical narrow mindedness of the malay thinking. But to get the bright side of the story, i think she / he was intimidated on how good your english was in those few words. so be happy! :)

What setuju setuju here? It's I agree lah! :)

Aizan Suhaira said...

Not to diss the teachers. But is learning in English tough or is teaching in English tougher? That is the question.

I know there are a lot of quality teachers out there. I am proud to call them my friends.

But there are some who do not have a good grasp of the language but are forced to teach maths and science in English.

A case of the blind teaching the blind?

But my fear is that ultimately the younger generation become bloody morons who do not have a good foundation of NEITHER Malay nor English.

It is a very real and very scary possibility, don't you agree?

Okay, so don't teach Maths and Science in English. I agree. But we must think of a way for the students to master the English language.

To have a good grasp of the language is important. Some may disagree but I really think they are just lying to themselves.

Think of all the great blogs they're missing out on! =P

SSQuo said...

I think it is important for people to know their native language, but in this world that is shrinking by the minute, fortunately or unfortunately English is used as a Universal language. So, if you want to compete globally, or even travel, interact and learn more, its just something that comes with that territory.

A lot of times students tend to stick with their language as its more comfortable as you said, but I remember my mom giving classes. She made it a rule, in her classes, everyone would speak English only. At least it was a step.

There are some organizations however that think learning English is becoming Westernized, and often 'Western world = Modern horrible world which is ready to taint these innocent souls'. I happen to think that if we are narrow minded and unexposed then we cannot 'think'. We should be presented with everything there is, and WE should be rational and sensible enough to make the choices, good or bad, eitherways we'll learn the art of responsibility.

Shadowthorne said...

Aizan, the blind leading the blind... how true. I checked the SPM results of the Science and Maths teachers; only 3 (including moi) got A in English. So yay! I am not one of the blind teachers!

SSQuo, thanks for the tip. I WILL enforce the english speaking rule in my class. Death to those who failed to obey! Mwa ha ha ha ha!!

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