Tuesday, 10 March 2009

PPSMI: Yang tersirat

After 6 years of implementation, people are questioning. In fact, it has been an endless polemic since the government introduced PPSMI (Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English). Now that there is no Tun M to back the policy, some quarters even dare to take the matter on the street, just like what we saw last Saturday.

Gerakan Memansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) claimed that the implementation of PPSMI has challenged the status of Bahasa Melayu, and can be a threat or a show of disrespect for our national language. Some people claimed that they are concern about the rural folks, especially the poor fishermen, farmers, estate workers etc. whom they believed will not benefited from this policy.

I am all for my Bahasa Melayu. Bahasa ibundaku! But, I can't see how PPSMI can be a threat for Bahasa Melayu (if that is the main reason to scrap the policy). PPSMI doesn't mean that we ignore and disrespect our national language. This issue has now been highly politicized - read here and here.

Should we appreciate the real objectives of the policy? The policy (is said) aimed at improving the English proficiency of our children. How? It helps to increase the usage of English in more subjects other than English itself. But, why not introduce more hours for English lessons and do not mess around with math and science? Apa pun, polisi ini dah dilaksana sejak sekian lama... nak berpatah balik ke?

What about students from the rural area? Why are they struggling with PPSMI? Is it true that there is a problem with teachers' proficiency in English? If that is the case then - 'rubbish in, rubbish out'. That's the reason why the students are struggling, no matter where they are from! If the teachers cannot understand and converse well in English, how can you expect the students to be able to understand what they are learning? This is also one of the reason why these teachers are against the policy. They can't deliver.

Saya juga orang kampung dan berasal dari Perlis. Ibu dan bapa saya tidak tahu langsung berbahasa Inggeris. Kakak saya mengikuti sekolah aliran Inggeris yang ada pada masa itu. Beliau kini berjaya di dalam kerjayanya dan sangat fasih berbahasa Inggeris. Sudah tentu jauh lebih baik dari saya yang belajar dalam aliran Melayu! Saya kenal ramai rakan-rakan yang sama sekolah dengan beliau dulu, mereka semuanya dapat menguasai bahasa Inggeris dengan baik, pun begitu ada yang kini menjadi guru dan mengajar Bahasa Melayu di sekolah dan Institut Perguruan. Bahasa ibunda tetap disanjung.

We can't deny that English is lingua franca of the world. We must not send a wrong message that the lingua franca is to be rejected. Sending the wrong message to the kampong kids will mean that they and their teachers will never see the importance of English - read here.

Today, many graduates who are not proficient in English fail to get a decent job. Ability to speak English is always one of the criteria in the selection process of employees. I have conducted many interviews. If the candidate speaks good English, they will normally get some extra marks. If you are the interviewer, I believed you'll do that most of the time too. So, if we love our children, then English is the way to go.

Maybe the government made mistakes 6 years ago by implementing the policy too sudden. The problem with teachers proficiency in English should have been tackled first. More personnel with credibility should have been employed. It has been more than half a decade. This policy should not be eliminated. It should be improvised.



Anonymous said...

i agreed with u 120%..from the other perspective, this issue has been manipulate by certain people for a political reason..but all those people who claim to be called as pejuang bahasa melayu are the victim in this game play...to all the members of this stupid movement(cerdik pandai bahasa melayu), dont be fool by the bad politician...lu pikirla sendiri

red rooster said...

Sdra/i Anon,
May God bless u. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Red Rooster
I have been an English language teacher for many years. All the more, rural kids need the language and good teachers to compete on level ground, and not half past six teachers who " curi curi" teach English in B.M" with the lame excuse that the pupils cannot understand them. The failure lies in the delivery system and of course, the whole issue has been exploited for reasons u n I know best.

Anonymous said...

Red Rooster
Another 2 sen 4 u.
The critical subject allowance for English Language has also been exploited by some administrators in schools. These greedy administrators suddenly become EL teachers, all 4 the allowance, when all along their career, they could not even string a simple sentence.So, EL periods r treated as library periods or "Buat kerja masing-masing. Cikgu mesyuarat/ada pelawat/kursus etc etc, only God knows.Or, relief teachers are sent in 2 kill time. Rural kids do not get the benefit of professional EL teachers.

Anonymous said...

Red Rooster
My last 2 sen 4 u.
The importance of BM is unquestionable. A credit in the SPM reflects the sovereignty of the subject. I think more and more of our younger YBs r very fluent in BM.As an EL teacher myself, I have observed a significant improvement in the Pupils' proficiency.It is working but perhaps unevenly as is reflected in the urban and rural disparity.So, look into the implementation. "Turun padang" and get into the schools to investigate. Don't just depend on the statistics submitted. Quiz the "pengetuas" and monitor their implementation. Don't throw away the baby with the bath water.

Chewal said...

Tahniah diatas ulasan saudara... ianya bernas.

Saya juga turut merasakan isu ini telah dipolitikkan olhe golongan tertentu yang cuba mengambil kesempatan.

Ini lah masalahnya, apabila kacamata politik membutakan mata dari melihat dan berfikir secara rasional.

red rooster said...

Sdra/i Anon 22.11,
Setuju dgn pandangan anda, bila sesuatu polisi dilaksanakan, pelbagai pihak yg berkaitan wajib 'turun padang' utk melihat secara lebih dekat dan situasi sebenar pelaksanaannya. Terima kasih.

Sdra Chewal,
Terima kasih di atas komen anda.