Thursday, July 9, 2009

Teaching of Maths & Science in English - It's back to square One

Play the Snakes and Ladders and you'll know why I said what I said. I am talking about the Government's decision to make a U-turn on it's noble intention of teaching Maths & Science in English.

Meaning, for 6 donkey's years we've achieve nothing! Zero! And then we said let's start all over again. We let the big snake swallowed our marker and excrete it at square one, while watching others' march on.

I'm totally amused at how the leaders acted against the obvious - statistics showed that more people/pupils prefer to answer questions in English - our leaders have just doused the fire of passion and kill of our children's desire to put themselves at par with others globally. I have come across a survey – broadcasted on TV much earlier – that close to 60% of the respondents wanted this medium of teaching stays.

To drop English Language as the medium in teaching these subjects is akin to them saying “we were wrong in trying to learn and know this language this way”. I’m not a big fan of Dr.M but him on this one. Dr. M said it was a wrong move to decide that way. I hope he won't stay still but come out strongly, consistently and persistent in his rebuttal about the whole thing.

What has become of the Government? Why is it giving up so easily? Muhyiddin said “not that it was a failure but it has not achieved the objectives” Sound like a hasty decision to me. Trying to leave his mark as the new Education Minister too soon? Hope this is not the case.

Don't quit. Keep going!

Having asked those questions, I still have many unanswered puzzles in my mind. If it has not achieved the objectives and intentions, why didn’t some smart people in the Government tell Muhyi to hire good English teachers, from overseas even? Rather than taking the easy way out, they should’ve trained the local teachers who are not proficient in English. Surely it will not be easy and it may take years to prepare them but QUITTING? This is just not us Malaysian! Or, are we?

Furthermore, there are so many English speaking housewives, auto tellers, expatriates’ wives (hey, I’ve attended a basic French class conducted by an expatriate’s wife!), researchers, retired teachers, to name a few. Hone them and hire them if they are suitable.

I can go on mumbling and our learned leaders won’t hear a thing. So I’ll put this here as a sign of frustration for I have planned years ahead for the earlier policy and sent my daughter to a school where I felt will benefit her in term of her proficiency in second and third language. Now I foresee she’ll have problem and I can’t just sit down and make no fuss about it.

Alright, let's look at some of the facts and try to rationalise the flip-flop decision:
  1. 6 years to train teachers to teach M&S in English language - wasted?
  2. 13,933 additional teachers to be recruited to beef up teaching of English language.
  3. Extra 90 minutes for teaching English in primary schools.
  4. Only 19.2% of secondary school teacher are proficient in teaching the subjects in English.
  5. A peanut 9.96% of primary teachers are proficient for the task.
  6. We are going to make another U-turn in 5 to 6 years time.
  7. After 1 year other subjects would cry for reinstatement of the 90 minutes which was "stolen" from them.
    (Errr..the last two are not facts)
Well, you can have a different opinion but this is mine and I'm entirely entitled to it. 

It's back to square one, and a monstrous waste at that!


NIX said...

That how I look at it.

1. The ppl is getting smarter with m&s in English. So they feel at threat

2. Publisher need business. So create opportunity.

What I foresee
3 years down the line,2012, general election comes with a new gov elected. Again another round of changes.

de engineur said...

Hi NIX, good point there on #2.

BTW, you have very nice photography blog. Love how you compose your shots.