..within a span of 30 odd years the command of English among our students has deteriorated to such an extent that intelligent young graduates have trouble getting their ideas across in languages other than their own. Even our local lawyers are of poor quality for lack of English.
I have been teaching English in secondary schools and tuition centres for 41 years in Kuantan and most of my Form 5 and Form 6 students can neither speak nor write proper English. Almost every sentence has to be corrected.
Surprisingly, some of them could even score an A or a strong credit in the SPM Examination. The same answers would most likely earn them an E or a F during my time. There is quality in the English Question Papers but the passing mark has been manipulated in such a way that even the undeserving students manage to score an A for English. This speaks volumes for our education system.
Various reasons have been given for the decline in the English standard but so far, nobody has honestly pointed out that the root cause is the short-sightedness of the Barisan National leaders and education ministers.
They lack foresight and zealously enhance the national language at the expense of English.
Had they thought over the education policy soberly with their head instead of emotionally with their heart, they would have enhanced the national language without diluting the English language.
Parents and teachers have expressed their concern over reports that the Education Ministry may be thinking of reverting to teaching Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia. Don’t our leaders ever learn from past mistakes? Have they not done enough damage in the field of education?
I pray that our Prime Minister and his Education Minister have the political will to act swiftly to contain the rot.
I hope they will take measures to produce students who can cope with the pressures and competition of this fast changing world and be able to keep abreast of discoveries through the English language, even to the extent of bringing back English schools.
This move will not only strengthen our children’s command of English but also do away with the system that favours the elites in the form of private and international schools.
The Barisan National’s electoral setbacks should prompt the BN leaders to pull up their socks.
The rakyat nowadays demand progressive leaders who can deliver and run the country.