English Should Be A Must-Pass For Ministers


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.


14 Responses to "English Should Be A Must-Pass For Ministers"
  1. macam- macam sekarang,

    Tapi lebih baik kalau subject sains dan matematik diajar semula dalam Bahasa Melayu. Benda ni tak settle lagi dia dah melalut ke benda lain pulak.


  2. haha..tau x pa...ak suka artikel ni...briliant opinion..huhu plus, seem dat i'll be an english teacher soon also not agree maa...after all they should think 'bout da stdents in sabah&sarawak...kmi bt kajian di sbh stdnt form 1 didn't even know how to read..writing as well..huhu so how can they pass english mehh.....stupid@#$%^gov!! put ur urself in other shoes^^

  3. opinion and arguments:
    1. Government
    Settle down first the issue of PPSMI..they are wrecking up everything by bringing out something new when there are other issues yet to be settled.

    Do a thorough studies in both area (rural + urban). See how the students can still cope with the matters.

    Make a reasonable plan and useful for the students. Dont just make up everything as to satisfy 'your heart's desire i.e- to get popularity as you r the best minister who can come up with brilliant ideas but something stupid happen instead.

    2. Students

    Study hard (smart) and dont just blame others..well, the matters will not be settled in the nick of time so for the time being, you have to find yourself some ways to get through it...by the time they have made up a conclusion, you are better enough than before.

    Rural + urban, there are some invisible line made up by the people..but you yourselves have to erase the line so that everybody is equal..in terms of facilities or quality of education etc..dont make it as an excuse..it is effort and determination that could bring you forward..there are so many examples of students who came from rural areas succeeded in their studies. Make the move...

    3. Public+ parents-

    Educate yourself when you find it is impossible to wait for the authority..teachers..dont just blame on the system..you have to think critically and make some alternative ways to educate the students..Parents..you are the major source of the students. Encourage them in the best ways you can..this is the world of technology and globalization is for everyone to achieve...jgn jd katak bwh tempurung..

    p/s- I am a little bit over react of this matter. you have open up to this argument so I fully use it..thank you for the information.forgive me if I am too much in my words.

  4. forgot to say...

    Good luck for ur exam..InsyaAllah every Muslim is praying for the other Muslims..

  5. a very nice article indeed..

    honestly.. i am not good at grammar myself, despite writing so often using the language. Learning itself should be made fun, not a burden to the students. I love English, not because it is easy or the likes, but because I enjoy learning it, thru books and games, etc. make English fun for the students, and increase the quality of education. then the govt can consider making it a compulsory subject to pass for spm.. not now..

    sorry for writing too long.. all the best for your exams, btw. may Allah bless u

  6. @fareast

    Btul. PPSMI still byk masalah. Kajian xdilakukan secara tperinci. Susah lg menyusahkan orang lain. Kalau kna pass BM mungkin boleh consider lg, dh mmg Bahasa kebangsaan.



    Thanks. copied from wuns' blog. owh. Future teacher la ni? hehe. Bagus ada buat kajian. Maybe boleh tulis petition ke government and together with the observation report.

  7. @Atiqah

    just as expected from a former debater. :)

    well, you point out some of relevant argument. Let me do the rebuttal by points. hehe

    1. I agree. It is in the hand of the government to do thorough studies mainly in rural area. I still don't see why there's a need to make it compulsory for students to pass English.

    Some of the students from rural area just need the SPM certificate to work, not that they don't like to study, they just don't have the brain.

    2.Yes. Students in rural area must improve themselves. But I think, they will be needing a very skillful teacher to tackle their interest to learn English. Otherwise, they don't see the point of studying it. SO, we need a better quality of education in rural area.

    3. Yes. Agree 100%. Unconcern parent will only lead to the lack of the students' interest in learning new things. Prepare yourself.

    It's Ok. After all, I open for the public to state their opinion.

    Thanks for the wish. :P



    Yes. I'm thinking the same too. Not now to implement new rule regarding this matter. English should be teach in a fun way, for both teachers and students.

    Thanks for your comment and wish. It's not a long comment. Don't worry.

  8. blajarlah subjek apapun..
    tp mesti kena minat.
    baru boleh excel.
    tak kirala budak bandar or luar bandar..
    kalau usaha nak belajar pasti boleh.
    smangat blajar kena ada!

    slawat banyak2 tym lupa.
    ingat ALLAH pasti Dia permudahkan..
    all the best!
    moga najah..

  9. @miss GAZA

    thanks for the comment. betul. semangat blaja perlu ada. nak naikkan semangat, minat perlu ada. nk pupuk minat, siapa lagi kalau bukan diri sendiri. Cikgu tugasnya memberi,pelajar kena buka hati untuk terima ilmu.

    Jazakillah. still nervous lg ni, ptg ni exam. :)

  10. hmm.wat to say ea?
    sy rasa belajar la banyak bahasa pun.tak rugi.
    fail tu mcm da teruk sgt je.err.
    yg penting berusaha!
    usaha tangga kejayaan! :D

    gambatte ne!!

  11. hmm. yup. yg penting ada usaha.

    tp mmg kita xrasa susah sgt nk pass english. sbb kita lahir dikelilingi english. macam nk masuk uia kna apt. let say u never learn arabic. do u think u can pass after just a 2-3 semesters of learning arabic? their knwledge dah la tahap rendah. some of them.

    kalau org luar bandar, failing english subject is common. in fact, ada yg dpt fail sume bile subjek sains diajar dlm english. I've seen that. sian diorg ni. kdg2 mayb facilities & tnaga pengajar xckup.

    ape2 pon,sume kna berusaha gak walau susah. wallahua'lam.

    just my 2 cents

    thanks for the wish..+_+

  12. Pendidikan Islam should be a must PASS also..!!!!

  13. salam
    this is another issue...what i want is its better that our generation learning science & math i english...so i only agree with PSSMI to this point....
    however it is, all of us have our own opinion & stand...i respect yours, yet too angry with reckless decision about PSSMI...it's may look not improving now, tapi lama kelamaan it will be okay anyway...thats improvement....not abundant things halfway....

  14. @PutraRocker

    Betul. Setuju.



    I respect your stand. I hope the govt. know what they are doing. and do a thorough research before another system is implemented. Try and error will only bring disaster to our young generation. Try and success is what we are looking for.

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