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Friday, September 23, 2011

Care to Listen??

Don't want to say anything - just read this:

Agony over policy

ON Malaysia Day, Sept 16, while the nation was celebrating a holiday to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian federation in 1963, my friend took her 15-year-old daughter to Singapore to check out some schools with the hope of enrolling her for next year's Secondary Four.
Her reason is simple. After nine years of studying Science and Mathematics in English, her daughter will have to make the major switch to studying the subjects in Bahasa Malaysia next year.

This means she only has two years to adjust to the switch before sitting for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination in 2013.

My eldest child, who is now in Year Four, has been saying goodbye to a handful of friends every year. Many opted to transfer to Singapore schools. Many more are planning the switch.
Most parents cite disillusionment with our education system. All these children are smart.

Living in Johor Baru, I see many schoolchildren cross the border daily to Singapore in the quest for a better education. Some enter the school system in Primary One while some enter midway.

Their school buses pick them up as early as 5am. Most return by 3pm, others later because of extra-curricular activities.

Even my children's kindergarten school principal has finally succumbed to the pressure of finding the best balance for her children.

This year, my second child started Primary One with Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction in a private school.

His principal had the foresight and business acumen to include the teaching of Maths and Science in English, too. This move proved profitable for him as enrolment has surged.

In Selangor, my brother's eldest son was enrolled in an international school after finishing his Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah examination. Many international schools are sprouting all over the country.

Many new housing developments have an international school designated area in their master plans.

Have Malaysians become more affluent and therefore, this new interest in international schools?

I do not have the statistics on children studying in Singapore.

Neither do I know the number of Malaysians enrolled in international schools.

But what I do know is that, as a parent, I am beginning to feel the pressure that I may not be doing enough to ensure my children get the best education available.

2011/09/23
LOH YIN CHENG, Nusajaya, Johor
letters@nst.com.my

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