narrow minded Politicians...I have to thank Mr. Abdul Rahman bin Muhamad and Mrs Maznah, my parents, for sending me to an English medium school way back in 1964. I was schooled at Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Sultan Yussuf, Batu Gajah, Perak, for my primary education, and the SMJK Sultan Yussuf, Batu Gajah for my secondary education.
The school was then a choice for parents to send their children because there were 2 or 3 other primary schools that had the Malay medium as a means of educating children. My parents were not that well to be, in terms of education. My father was a soldier since he was Malay educated and only finished primary school. My mother was just a housewife. Both didn't know English. I remember my father buying the English newspapers for us to read everyday. He didn't allow us to read the Malay newspapers at home...
We had to pay monthly education school fees in those days. It was RM10 for primary school (year 1 to year 6) and RM12 for secondary school, until I was given a scholarship when I went to Sekolah Menengah Sains Selangor in Kuala Lumpur, to further my studies. RM10 in those days is like RM100 today. (My father's income was a little less than RM200 per month in 1964).
Due to my English education, today I can read and write in English well. I'm not an expert in the English language, but I can understand well what is being shown on TV, the internet, books, magazines and all the information available today worldwide. I can even write my own Blog in English, so that everybody from anywhere in this world can read my ideas...
An uneducated Malay parent like I had, could make a brilliant decision 47 years ago, to send their children to an English medium school.... And I just failed to understand why today's parents wants their children to be educated in Malay !!!! What is wrong here?? Tell me why??
My eyes are still brown. It's not blue. My skin is still brown. It's not white. I eat rice for lunch and not beefsteaks or chicken chops. I still eat with my bare right hand and not fork and spoon... Nothing change... I'm still a MALAY and not an Englishman.
Actually, the school children today have no problem with PPSMI. It is their Malay educated parents. They cannot teach their children at home because their command of English is poor. In fact, very poor !!! These parents have no vision at all... Why can't you people just imitate what my parents did to me 47 years ago? Maybe what I say here cannot be understood. Hmm..., find a translator then...
Well..., anti-PPSMI parents, read the English papers or ask your children to translate these two articles:
The anti-PPSMI making a BIG mistake.
WE live in a borderless world or a global village now. English is the lingua franca of those who want to advance themselves.
English books are easily available in many subjects and topics. Just name it and you will have it. Good books in Bahasa Melayu are limited. Translated books in Bahasa Melayu are of low quality. Sometimes they are hard to understand.
I prefer to read books in English because I will always get the latest knowledge in any topic I can think of. In most book stores locally, 90% of the books are in English.
I pity the Malays who oppose PPSMI. It is not the students who oppose the policy but their parents. Many of them cannot understand a word of English and they want their children to be like them.
Those politicians who need the support of the Malays have no choice but to make a decision against PPSMI. They are afraid they will be voted out in the next election if they support the use of English in PPSMI.
It is a great mistake.
When Malay children cannot get jobs after graduation they put the blame on the government of the day and rarely on the politicians, the ones who should really shoulder the blame.
Those who want their children to master English without the help of the Education Ministry can send them for English classes in any reputable tuition centre.
Yes, the fee will be high, but consider it as an investment that will yield great dividends later.
I have to thank my late father for his forward-looking decision.
I was very lucky to have the opportunity to learn English in an English-medium school where most of the teachers were Indians and Chinese. I want to thank them all.
I may not speak and write in perfect English but at least I can read thousands of books in English!AHMAD NASIR MOHAMAD,
The STAR (14 March 2011)
English an advantage in a competitive world
Friday March 11, 2011
I AM a mother of two schoolgoing kids aged 12 and 14. My children are very stressed by the fact that their favourite subjects will be in Bahasa Malaysia come 2012.
They are learning Maths and Science in English and they enjoy these subjects very much. I believe that if they were studying these subjects in Bahasa Malaysia in primary school, it would not have been so bad.
Even a former Prime Minister stressed on the importance of Maths and Science being taught in English.
Many appeal letters have been written to the Education Ministry and the press. Everything has fallen on deaf ears.
Millions of ringgit were spent on books and training teachers to teach in English. When we revert to Bahasa Malaysia in 2012, what will happen to these books?
I understand many rural children aren’t able to grasp English. This is certainly not the fault of the students. Teachers are not confident in the language. The problem, I understand, has been overcome with multi-media assistance.
I believe that the main problem here is the mindset and not the language. The mind is a most powerful tool. Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that patriotism had nothing to do with the language of knowledge. I cannot agree with him more.
We were able to negotiate our independence because our leaders were able to speak, read and write in English. All our ministers today are able to communicate with the leaders of the world because they can speak English.
Some will disagree with me and say that if Japan and Korea can become world leaders without mastering English why can’t we.
The answer is we do not have the mentality of those nations. They are hungry for knowlege and progress. They are even learning English because they don’t want to depend on translators. Do we have that kind of thinking? Have we moved to that advanced stage?
How are we going to spread the knowledge of Maths and Science to our children in Bahasa Malaysia? How are we going to progress at a faster pace?
We parents are not asking for much. We only want an option for our children. On the mode of education, the Constitution does not say that all subjects have to be in Bahasa Malaysia.
Let the parents and children choose the option of learning Maths and science in English and progress will come much faster, specially in this global competitive world.
As long as we have multi-national companies doing business in Malaysia and as long as we invest in other countries, the human capital must be ready for rapid change in the world.
Change can take place when we open our hearts and minds to see the bigger picture and be realistic about things.
Do allow the teaching of Maths and Science in English for those who want to learn these subjects in English continue.
After all, unlike reverting to Bahasa Malaysia, having an option will certainly cost the country less.
NST 11 March 2011.
What Ahmad Nasir Mohammad says is very true... Politicians are afraid of losing their seats in Parliment. They are making a big mistake here, especially the Education Minister.. I am a teacher and I know what's happening in school. The problem is not the students.. It's the Malay educated Science and Mathematics teachers who are creating the problem in PPSMI. They are the ones who are not well verse in English. To make matters worse, the Bahasa Melayu and Sejarah teachers are anti-PPSMI too!!! Must be because of the special allowances given to the Maths and Science teachers. Don't argue.. Facts remain facts.... If that's the problem, take away the allowances, but retain the PPSMI. Your children are also involved in the PPSMI. Do you want your children to be like you - English handicappers !!!! Be like my parents....think forward. Have vision....
I rest my case...
Have a nice day...