I don’t think I need to elaborate further on my feelings regarding the reversal of PPSMI. I have been in debates about this since 2003 or so, when it was first launched and I am tired. It was a sad day indeed for Malaysia.
So instead, I am putting quotes from other well-known bloggers.
Nuraina A. Samad pointed out the glaring flaw in our education system:
If school kids NEED tuition for almost every subject, including Sejarah — then, there is something really wrong with how teachers are teaching. Don’t tell me that I have NO time to teach my kids. Truth is, I’m not qualified to teach maths — and even BM, according to today’s syllabuses.
I know that even our politicians and some very important people send their kids to private schools — here or abroad. Either because 1. they can afford it. 2. they can afford it and they don’t have faith in our public schools.
Marina Mahathir brought to light our “katak bawah tempurung” attitude:
Or perhaps, we should just admit one thing. We don’t really want to compete with anyone else in the world. We just want to live in our little kampungs and speak to our neighbours who have to be exactly like us, and be content with that. We don’t want to know what’s going on in the world and if we need any new technology, well, we’ll just take whatever someone else tells us is good for us. Oh, and we won’t even go to any international meetings of, say, Muslim scholars, because even those meetings are held in English.
The best article I have ever read yet though, is from Syed Akbar Ali. Graduates should be aware of the horrifying reality:
Let me give you some street feedback. At least one Internet based employment agency has instructions from its clients to completely ignore any job applicants who are graduates from UITM (University ITM). As we know UITM graduates are all Malays. They say the quality of the graduates is low and their English is bad.. They are unemployable. This is what I heard.
Another preference by another employer – a Multi National Corporation – in the job market is to take in job applicants who are graduates of IPTA (private universities) who have done twinning programs. This means their English is good and they are more marketable. Again this means Malays with poor English skills are not preferred. Bottom of the line.
And here is some news from Cyberjaya. We opened up Cyberjaya and gave foreign investors much benefits and incentives to open business there. Among the foreign investments in Cyberjaya are ‘Call Centers’. Well some ‘Call Centers’ in Cyberjaya take in Indians as a first choice for employment. They feel that generally Indians speak better English. Second choice are Chinese. Finally they will look at Malays as the last choice but rarely. Even with the emphasis on English the past six years, the Malays cannot speak enough English to get a job answering telephones in Call Centers in Cyberjaya.
This revelation should not come as a surprise:
It is the teachers who were malas to teach in English. And there are other reasons why some Malay teachers do not use English. Among them are religious reasons because some people believe that speaking English may lead to you ‘jadi kristian’.
Even in the towns (including Kuala Lumpur) it is also considered “showing off” if Malay people speak English. So there are other quite illogical reasons why Malay teachers are shy to speak and teach in English. Don’t just blame it (and quite wrongly too) on the rural school children. That is not correct.
I witnessed flares of frustration, anger and sorrow among my many English teacher friends.
I bet it’s a different emotion with some Science and Maths teachers though. They’re having a party since come 2012, they don’t need bust their ass speaking English anymore! Hooray!
And the kids?
Yeah, what about the kids?