I am still sticking to my opinion that English should be the medium of choice at our school, and not bahasa.
In the meantime, I fully support the use of English as a medium to teach science and math. After all, most - if not all, of the terms used in science and math are already english words, Malaynized that is.
So what's my point? Let's try these terms - Negative, positive, electric, cathode, anode, battery, engine, wire etc. Please give me the Malay words for them - negatif, positif, letrik, katod, anod, batery, enjin, wayar.
Hello - are you guys listening, or not? Simple isn't it? Hahaha...
If the problem is with the implementation, then let's tackle the implementation side and not the policy.
I know many of our teachers were not trained to teach in English. Then again, I believe most of their subjects that they took at the uni were in English. So I fail to understand why would they have difficulty to teach in one?
I should know a bit. Arif came back from school one day (years ago) and told me that he learnt about wole number. I have no idea about wole number, so I asked him to explained. Then it occured to me that he was talking about whole number.
Apparently his math teacher pronounced it as wole number. In other words, the 'w' is not silent.
I laughed, corrected him but I guess he understood the concept even if the pronounciation was wrong. So it was not too bad, in my opinion.
I have been chatting with my primary schoolmates and teachers recently. I am sure many had read my entries on them.
You know in 1970, many of the kampung children nearby the small rural town of Lenggong would send their children to this school then named SRJK(I) Lenggong.
Of course we have many SRK in the remote villages surrounding Lenggong. I know that for sure as we have had our scout Jamboree in out school in 1972 with many of them participating.
So they don't have to send their children to Lenggong.
Many of my classmates didn't come from Lenggong town. Some were from Kuak, say about 15 km away or more then. Some from Gelok, Air Kala, and many other villages. It would take them over one hour by bus to come to school in town.
"Why did they bother? It was quite far for them to commute," I asked Mie recently during our chat in Bukit Antarabangsa. I didn't get a satisfactory answer from him. I only got my answer during the chat with Cikgu Hizam and Faridah recently.
Originally according to Cikgu Hizam, SRJK(I) Lenggong was called the Lenggong Government School (or something along that line). It was perhaps the only English school in town.
Many of the villagers in town would send their children to Lenggong Government School to get them educated - in English that is. They could not have done so in many SRK nearby. They could get their children educated in bahasa. While many of the parents were peasants, farmers and doing many other kampung odd jobs, they knew the value of educating their children in the language of the colonialists. To them, it is a way out of the poverty for the children and them.
Coupled with strong-minded teachers like Cikgu Hizam, who would twist your ears, or cane your butt (or cubit your perut) if you don't speak English. My friend (Lok)Man and many others would remember this for sure.
Bapak for one would only buy New Straits Times, so we kids have no choice but to read that newspaper while growing up.
Surely if kids like us from the 70s, from a remote town and villages near Lenggong, can master the language (sort of) and survive America, I am sure kids nowadays living in the new millennium can do better than us.
This the era of the internet, and they are many means for them to learn.
I think it is no excuse for our kids nowadays to become Mat Rempits just because they could not understand the lesson in school. Honestly, I think the Malay kids (the boys that is) are a gonner case. They are becoming pondans, and taking the easy way out.
Pondan here is taking the easy way out, and not strive to try and do our best to learn irrespective.
I told my staff recently after interviewing a batch of 10 Malay male engineers (the day before I interviewed 3 female Chinese engineers) and exclaimed loudly to her, "Kemanakah perginya pemuda-pemuda harapan bangsa?"
The presentation was poor, many could hardly string up a sentence or two needed to save their own lives, and results at the uni leave much to be desired.
Unlike the Malay female engineers, and of course the Chinese counterparts.
Mat Rempit menace? Our boys are becoming pondans? Or is it simply because it is easier to become Mawi and Siti Nurhaliza. Do you remember the first interview Siti gave in English? How does she compare to say Datuk Kathy and Sudirman, both I believe were educated in English.
We have to re-start somewhere. I think may be we should have two medium school like the old days. Some would sit for LCE, some for SRP, and some for MCE and some for SPM. If needed.
Only if we have do.
Otherwise, persevere. Do not have a flip-flop policy. If our parents and grandparents in the 40s and 50s can master the language, why can't kids in the new millennium?
They didn't become Mat Rempit, Fadhil.
It was done at the expense of our children and future competitiveness.
Forty years on, the situation has deteriorated to such an extent that a rethink is required.
I don't believe it was Mahathir per se who wants to change the policy. I think we needed the change in policy to survive in the competitive climate that we are in today, regardless whether it was him or someone else.