Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: Every child must learn BM, English and mother tongue

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | 'The future is bleak if Malaysia continues to strongly emphasise only BM in schools.'

Ministry: Unlawful to use English as medium of instruction in schools

David Dass: English and Maths were taught in English for a long time. It was dropped because the teachers could not teach in English.

The private sector functions almost entirely in English and those who seek employment in the private sector must be proficient in the English language.

Almost all universities in the country use English to a greater extent. It is impossible to teach law without the use of English. Most of the books in libraries at universities and elsewhere are in English.

Why do we persistently deny the truth and make our children victims of stupid policies?

Malaysia must have Malay and English as official languages. Some subjects must be taught in English to ensure English language proficiency.

Ksn: Bahasa Malaysia is our national language, and we all know we must master it.

But English is the universal language of knowledge and therefore for our present generation and the future generations, English must be given equal footing in schools to safeguard Malaysia's future. To argue otherwise is simply foolish.

Will the new government and the education minister take up this matter for our country's sake?

Anonymous_2e7168df: Section 17 of the National Education Act 1996 must be amended. This restricts the use of a language which is more suitable to be used as the medium of teaching in (Advanced) Maths, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Internet, AI (artificial intelligence), genetics, etc.

Do not waste your time "transplanting" English terminology into Malay. It’s confusing and inaccurate. Even Indonesia and China are having great problems doing so. As such, they have kept such terminology in its original language (that is English).

If Malaysia continues to strongly emphasise Malay, the future is bleak. Well-known Malaysians who have made their mark in the world speak fluently in English, not Malay.

Anonymous #83834503: Do you honestly think that changing the laws to make English the medium of instruction will make for effective change?

Schoolchildren will suffer the trauma of learning English. National-type schools and vernacular schools have been suffering trying to learn both English and Bahasa Malaysia.

What our people fail to see is the curriculum content has been reduced to nothing of substance. We have more politicians and wannabe manager teachers than real teachers.

I have been through Senior Cambridge, MCE, SPM and am more than familiar with KBSR (Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah), KBSM (Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah), etc.

Smart schools? These are anything but smart. ‘Guru cemerlang’? I wonder if there is such a person.

Many, like me, have been ‘through the mill’ teachers, and can only shake our heads and cry for our grandchildren.

Anonymous: In schools, DAP will fight for the Chinese language and Unified Examination Certificate (UEC). PKR Indian representatives will fight for the Tamil language. Bersatu will fight for Bahasa Melayu. PAS will fight for tahfiz or sekolah agama.

Nobody is fighting for our mastery of the English language – this is not good for Malaysians if we want to be successful in the global arena.

Malaysia was highly respected in the eyes of foreigners due to our command of English in the 1970s. Just look at Broadcom CEO Tan Hock Eng (the most highly paid CEO in the tech industry); he is from Penang Free School and went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on scholarship in the 70s.

Many countries in the world are putting effort into mastering English. If we don't correct it now, we will have two types of Malaysians: one who can speak English, thanks to private education or education abroad, and the other, who struggles to speak English, even with a string of As for SPM.

The world has changed so much in the last few decades and the Education Act written in 1996 has to be made relevant to meet market demand and ensure employability.

Our children need to learn what will make them employable in the future and meet industry demands, not what the teacher was taught to teach a long time ago.

If the Act is not relevant, it’s the job of the 222 MPs. We don’t want the Education Ministry to make cosmetic changes like reducing school bag weights and changing shoe colours.

We need a mindset change and an outward-looking view in this millennium since we are a trading nation. Every child should learn Malay, English and his or her mother tongue or another language and master these.

Anonymous 9916: Well, same old, same old. No wonder, the students Malaysia produces are “so marketable”.

“Raising the standard of English can be done from time to time.” Really? Which time do you think will be suitable? Never ever?

Malaysia is a goner. I thank my stars that I did not allow my only child to continue studying in this country. I have always had the opinion that Malaysia is beyond saving.

ABC123: During P Ramlee’s time, the English standard among Malays was much better. It is worse now.

You are only hurting your own Malay students. The Indians can speak English. The Chinese can speak English and Chinese. The Malays will only know Malay.

Ipoh Pp: As a retired teacher, l can only say that this policy (ban on English as medium of instruction) is cock-eyed and the ministry folks can't see further than the tip of their noses.

VIM: This was spoken 50 years ago but is still relevant today - an extract of Lee Kwan Yew's speech to the Malaysian Parliament in May 1965:

“Having reached the most sensitive part of my speech, in which I would expose the inadequacy of Umno's policies, I decided to speak in Malay. Although my Malay was not as good as my English, I was fluent compared with other non-Malay MPs.

“I said that while I accepted Malay as the sole official language, I did not see how it could raise the economic position of the people.

“Would it mean that the produce of the Malay farmer would increase in price, that he would get better prices? Would he get improved facilities from the government?

“I added that if the Alliance did not have real answers to current economic problems, it should not stifle the opposition.

“Because we had an alternative, and it would work: In 10 years we will breed a generation of Malays, educated and with an understanding of the techniques of science and modern industrial management.”

Dex: Go to India and study the system of education there.

Primary schools: tri-lingual (local language, Hindi and English). Secondary schools: bi-lingual (Hindi and English). Universities – English.

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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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