It has been made known to public the decision made by government last week to abolish PPSMI by stages until 2012. The decision seems final, and nearly nothing can be done about that for now. Following to such announcement, various reactions were given, be it in mass media and alternative media. Some agree, some don’t. In a way, of all agreement and disagreement shown us that we are living in democracy and having a controlled freedom of speech.
Controlled? Why not total freedom of speech?
Since we can read various reactions caused by the decision made, I believed that we can agree that some made good articulate arguments, and some failed to do so. Some are driven towards hate towards our previous Prime Minister, some driven to defend his thoughts. I supposed readers have read them by yourselves in blogs as such as JMD’s, BigDog’s, Nobisha’s, Nuraina Samad’s, Dato Ti’s, Wenger’s and of course non other than TDM himself with his pole of votes. It seems, the pole votes made done in TDM and Utusan by comparison should make the policy makers and Malaysians as a whole to think as rational as possible. By reading the articles and comments, I believe that a controlled freedom of speech is needed since some of us failed to use it responsibly and in a matured manner.
Before we go any further, let us refresh what are the follow up reactions and plans made by the government after the announcement of PPSMI. During the decision made itself, the report on July 8 stated as:
“Based on this observation, he said, the government was convinced that science and mathematics must be taught in the language that could be easily understood by the students, namely Bahasa Malaysia in the national schools, Chinese in the national-type Chinese schools and Tamil in the national-type Tamil schools“
Subsequently, as a result of abolishing PPSMI, government decided to take follow up actions in a way of “compensating loss opportunity to increase English proficiency” by the followng statement on July 9:
“He said English proficiency was vital for the future of the country but the difference now would be the methods to be used to achieve this.
“We think that increasing the teaching hours for the subject and introducing English literature is a better way than teaching Science and Mathematics in English.
“That’s the only difference but the goal is the same, that is, mastering English as it is essential for the future of Malaysia. That need is recognised by the government,” he said.”
Surely, it looks like that the importance of English proficiency is not being neglected. At the very least, our kids are given fighting chance to master the language in order to learn at higher level and competing in job market.
The very next day, two interesting news report broken out. One calling for equel spending to raise Bahasa Malaysia’s status and news report stating that 80% voted “No” in TDM blog pole. Of course, one may dispute online pole done in TDM’s blog. However, the following reaction made by govenrment on July 11 showed how “serious” the pole has caused. It is stated in the news:
“The time allotted to the teaching and learning of English in schools will be increased by 70 per cent starting 2012 in the efforts to strengthen the command of the language among students, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Saturday.”
“The ministry would also appoint more skilled teachers, review the types of textbooks used and set up English laboratories, he told a news conference after launching the ministry’s 1Malaysia programme at the Titiwangsa Lake Garden, here today.
“We want to make English as a main subject along with the Malay language,” he said.
He also said that the government would task the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and the Malaysian National Institute of Translation to translate science, technology and mathematics terminologies into the Malay language.“
From my point of view, the government is trying to take reasonable measures in supporting their decision in abolishing PPSMI. However, do you note the sentences I’ve highlighted in red?
BigDog has raised reasonable questions in regards with the red colored sentences – what happened to the very reason of effort against PPSMI? It seems that the statements made somehow not clicking. At one point, PPSMI is abolished and back to the previous method, but in just a few days, efforts to be taken to raise proficiency in English and Bahasa Malaysia is called. So what happened to SJKs?
By all means, I believe SJKs using their own language as MAIN medium of communication. In which I believe, in the event PPSMI not to be taught in English, the only time used for “Bahasa Malaysia” is during Bahasa Malaysia period and “English” for whatever planned in enhancing English proficiency.
Based on data provided in MoE, there are 1292 SJK(C) and 523 SJK(T). I wonder what are the action plans for these schools to raise Bahasa Malaysia proficiency considering they are also part of National Education policy.
Considering that the English proficiency effort will take place at all type of schools, here are some questions for this matter if the government plan to raise Bahasa Malaysia and English, why are not science and maths to be taught in Bahasa Malaysia? If they are exampted, what are the subsequent measures in making sure Bahasa Malaysia to be well taught in SJKs? Moreover, if they are exampted, why are they can be exampted?
With all due respect, I have no qualms if anyone wish to speak other than Bahasa Malaysia and English, but as a Malaysian, I believe that everyone of us should be able to speak fluent Bahasa Malaysia and able to master English.
Or is it the measures taken to increase English proficiency are just for Sekolah Kebangsaan?
Hopes on the street: The PPSMI issue initially has been resolved. It is time for the government to execute necessary measures, teachers to teach our kids, and our kids to learn and master science and maths. 🙂