Saturday, July 11, 2009

Have You Heard?

Lamenting Malaysia's recent switch from teaching Science & Math subjects to Bahasa, I must say, this has to be the worst decision in a very long history of bad decisions. A round of applause everybody. Yahoo for our wise leaders.

They did a similar thing when I was in standard 6. Halfway through the year, a mere months before UPSR -- our first major exam -- they swapped to English. Bravo. Smooth move, doing it halfway through the year.

But our leaders' latest move is by far, the worst. Their biggest concern was that the margin between the rural-area students and urban students was widening. Another concern was the lack of teachers who could converse fluently in English. On the contrary, there are a lot of teachers who have perfect grammar. Never mind the accent, the grammar is what counts. And I believe rural students just need the right support. They don't need teachers who call them stupid and discourage them from learning.

A sad, sad trait of Malaysians. Our method of 'teaching' involves humiliating the student and crippling their self-esteem. Is this how we build our nation's future leaders? If so, then I want out of this country. We cannot even queue up properly for crying out loud.

And the rural students are at an even bigger loss. Though they might have been struggling the past few years, however the change back to Bahasa will just confuse them as the terms and all will be all jumbled up. Not to mention the confusion among the teachers.

Which brings me to the second concern; lack of teachers fluent in English. That is slightly trickier to solve. It can be done. However, it will be time consuming. The teachers need to be put through rigorous English courses. Minimal unless its a proper meal time.

Alas, another Malaysian trait; we love to have 'breaks' up to a point they are literally too frequent. I agree a break every now and again is good. But unfortunately, the breaks are too long. We must stop the 'cakap berkias-kias' and just cut to the chase. It is so difficult sometimes.

Finally, what on this god-forsaken planet is the logic behind changing to Bahasa? Every college on the planet teaches Science & Math subjects in English. Changing the language to Bahasa will just cause a major problem for every Malaysian high school grad later on. All the scientific and mathematical terms will be very difficult to learn later on. Our future students will be in serious trouble.

Since they plan to begin changes in 2012, I will not be affected since I would have graduated but my little brother is still in elementary school (primary school). Quite literally everyone I asked has a negative opinion on the government's move to change the language back to Bahasa.

I can only pray-hope the government knows what they're doing. However, the likes of that looks extremely bleak.

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