I read an article while browsing through my favorite blogs and I find it very well-written . It is in fact what I've been thinking of writing for quite sometime. Let's read and think.
Should English be a must-pass for SPM?
Let's look at it from one perspective; English is important because we have been colonized by the English speaking western super powers and we are made to accept that this is the lingua franca of this day and age. There's a whole load of benefit from being able to improve a student's English, because like it or not, we are not going to be the Japanese or French who doesn't seem bothered to uphold their own language over others - whereas we submit to globalization rather easily.
However, having said that, our level of educational sophistication haven't reached a satisfactory level where rural folks and city folks get the same quality of education. Arguably the rural folks tend to get the ugly side of things it seems and therefore their quality is not the same - in fact the disparity is rather sad. Therefore is it fair to force upon them the burden of having to pass another nation's principal language of communication?
I must note here that I'm not generalizing anything and that a rural kid might well excel in English and there are city kids who does not speak a word of English. But in being realistic, the quality of English is not the same everywhere and it would also be unrealistic to expect every kid to pass English if the government cannot guarantee good quality education to be provided equally to everyone.
Even though we hope that one day everyone in Malaysia can master not only English but definitely our own language as well (I've heard some of the Malay based radio DJs speak BM and it's not that good either). But, what is of a bigger surprise here (then the exaggerated surprise of our DPM) is the fact that our quality of education has yet to be addressed, the system have yet to be revamped and the school teachers are made to worry more about what language to teach in rather than how to effectively teach these children.
I laud the many voices that raised the question of quality and not language because in the end what matters most is quality. We don’t people who talk but can’t work. Apparently our politicians care more about how the people are going to interact during job interviews rather than the quality of their work. If they do get jobs based on their ability to speak English, what guarantee do we have that they can actually do the job when employed?
I'm also puzzled by the DPM's other surprise that schools do not teach grammar but focuses on communication instead. On one hand he wants the students to be able to speak English but on the other hand he wants them to learn basic things like what is Adjectives and Nouns. Sure these are all good to learn, but frankly speaking, I don't even know the Malay grammars to be fair. But I can still talk without knowing. Learning the basic grammar is one thing and communicating is another. If kids learn grammar, they would memorise the words and to which group it belongs to but there's no guarantee that they can put it into long sentences. Plus grammar is just boring and students would lose interest without gaining much.
However, if indeed the DPM still wants to proceed with his proposal regardless of the outcry (because they do that a lot), then I would suggest that the 'must-pass' apply to all government ministers and deputy ministers first. I don't want some minister saying they don't understand English while in another foreign English-medium country or some Minister talking gibberish when being phone interviewed by an Arab news channel in English. That would not set a good example for our young generation.
So give the ministers (including chief ministers) a test first and anything less than a B should not be accepted - B because ministers should have good Queen's English much like Khairy Jamaluddin's (but the problem then would be all talk but no substance).
credit: Mr. Wuns <--- click here to read more.
note: I 'm 100% agree with this article. I've witnessed how difficult things were for some of my students in rural area (Janda Baik is considered as rural right?).
f they don't even know how to pronounce a simple English term, how do we expect them pass the subject ? If they score A's in other subjects but fail in English, are they still fail the SPM ? Help me with this if you know the details. What's your opinion?
note2: I'm still not the mood of writing anything. Need a little more courage. In the meantime, I'll post some articles which I find rather interesting to disscuss and to gain something from them.
note3: I'll be sitting for my Test 2 DS today and DS final on Monday. Pray for me 'kay.