Thursday, April 7, 2011

PPSMI to stay???

... 2 medium of instructions. For two days in a row, I've been reading from the papers that the gahmen is considering allowing 2 medium of instructions for Math and Science. I, for one would be most happy if Math and Science continue to be taught in English, simply because most of the good references are in English.

Why now, at the 11th hour after such a long time of adamant insistence that we switch back to BM? Is it out of genuine realization that we need to or could it be that the gahmen does not have enough resources to switch over? New books to print, teachers to be sent for retraining, new teaching aids, etc, etc.... all these cost a bomb, given our current penchant of paying more to selected vendors.

Maths and Science in English... I still feel that it benefits the students more. As it is, English is still on the slide. Results in the recent SPM may indicate that all is well but I think many in the system will acknowledge that all is not as well as it seems. Many feel that the passing marks are ridiculously low. Some of us even question the A+ score too. Cos students apt to make glaring grammar errors can score A+ where English is concerned.

However, deep down in us, and because we know our students well enough, I think some of us are honest enough to admit that there may be other forces at play here; forces out of our control.

PPSMI to stay... such a sad thing that we're still flip-flopping over it. Why did we switch to it in the first place? Because we knew that we were lagging, that our poor command of English was making us lose our place in the 'persada dunia'. So switch we did. Then the about turn after that; after billions of RM spent. And now this. I wonder how come we're not smart enough to separate education from politics. National language politicized, feelings stirred and siege mentality ensues. For every two steps we take forward, we 'go-stan' (reverse) another one.

Minus the English skills, we minus ourselves and kids from a lot. We deprive them of the ability to learn from beyond. I was reading an Education related article when I stumbled onto this site.... The Khan Academy. It's like tuition online. The best part is it's free!! 8) The person behind it, Salman Khan, has 3 degrees from MIT and a Harvard MBA. It's a site filled with instructional videos for Maths and Science, no bells and whistles but very easy to understand. One can keep replaying the same thing till they get crystal clear understanding. We lack such kinds of innovators among our teaching fraternity here.

Sites such as The Khan Academy benefit our kids too even though we are on the other side of the world. They take learning beyond the walls of the classrooms. But we need to understand the language used in the instruction. That unfortunately for now is English... cry as much as the nationalists want to about preserving our national language. We still need to master English.... in order to leap forward. But then again, we have built our own little tempurung(s) to prevent those who want to leap forward, leap. I hope the government makes a wise decision on this... one that benefits our children.

2 comments:

monay said...

The Khan academy? A friend told us about it too. But I didn't know all that about him....:) Thanks. For college level there are the free online MIT lectures.... http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
And there are testing to get credit for college.... AP/CLEP/DANTE
I wonder whether old pattern school/college are necessary these days...:)

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

'Go-stan' is our folly :(( Just doesn't make us world beaters or even help us to be recognised. Mix politics into our education and we drown ourselves :(((