Saturday, October 8, 2011

PPSMI is Correct Policy..

An open letter to the Government of Malaysia : PLEASE TAKE NOTE.

I REFER to the letter “Why PPSMI is abolished” (The Star, Oct 5) by the Education Ministry. My children attend a national school for two main reasons.
First, with PPSMI, there is an ideal balance of teaching in Bahasa Malaysia and English, with the added advantage of having the technical subjects of Science and Maths in English.
Then there is the bonus of the mother tongue being taught (at least in my children’s school, although the implementation can be greatly improved).
Second, my children can mix with children of other races.
After the announcement to abolish the PPSMI, I observed a drop in the number of Chinese students enrolled in my children’s school.
My son’s best friend also switched to a private school because of this change in policy. This is not conjecture.
The students who are poor in English should be the main reason for the PPSMI in the first place.
When you look at the teacher’s use of language in the subjects, fingers should not be pointed only at the students.
Some of the Science and Maths teachers are not adequately prepared to fully teach in English. Not conjecture either.
Again it has been pointed out that the weakness in the implementation is not the fault of the policy itself, nor should it be that of the students.
Every child can be taught. It is for the adults, the teachers and parents to make it happen. We have to start somewhere.
If the ministry believes that these students are “victims” now, they will be even bigger victims when they reach tertiary level.
I have witnessed this first hand during my time in a local university, and beyond that, thirty plus years in an increasingly global, competitive and unforgiving working life where English is the common language used.
Yes, we are producing professionals by the thousands but try comparing their English proficiency with professionals of generations past. Besides, these people are the cream of the crop, and as such will always rise to the top regardless of the environment they are in.
The focus should be on the rest of the workforce. It is for the general workforce that the education system needs to develop to drive our nation forward.
Our education system also encompasses more than just this debate on the medium of instruction, it includes strength of syllabus, strength of schools and teachers, and cohesiveness and togetherness of the people we produce.
The PPSMI is the correct policy to adopt.
The number of voices for PPSMI must surely be too loud to ignore.
If the ministry chooses not to implement PPSMI in full at least give the option to parents and students who still believe in it.
Petaling Jaya.
- The Star, Oct 8, 2011.

Have a nice day....

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