Al Fatihaah to all Muslim teachers that have left us.
SSolawat and Salam to Prophet Mohhamed Solollahu alaihi wasallam,
Salute to all teachers deceased or still surviving
Regards and salam to my classmates and comtemporaries in my former schools namely Sekolah Umum Pulai, Baling; Tunku Putera English School, Sultan Badlishah School Kulim.
Before I proceed with what I have in mind, allow me to express my heart-felt gratitude to all my former and current teachers. ....I'm still learning because "to pursue for knowledge starts from cradle ends in the grave". Al-Hadith.
We have many common denominators namely Malay, Islam, Kedahan, Pre and post Independence Education, Malay Public School, Special Malay Class, Free Scholar in Secondary School ( mine in Tunku Putera English School, Baling , the Badlishah, Kulim and tertiary education in Serdang.)
I am sure Dato' and our contemporaries must have observed that teaching of English now is not as effective as what we had then. My personal observations vide my position as Chairman (most of the time, Committee Members of Parent Teachers Association of my 7 children's schools are follows:
1. With due respect to all the present English teachers, do not seem to posses the necessary basic skill to teach and the knowledge of English Language;
2. The present techniques are more suitable for children of English speaking families. Nowadays, they do not start with "Look & Read" as we did. Then 'Oxford English Course" and so and so forth.They now start with comprehension.
3. Unlike BM, English does have a specific spelling pattern ;'BUT' and 'PUT' do not rhyme. Like French, there are many silent alphabets and syllables e.g catalogue -sounds ketalog only.
What is more confusing to young beginners is when they also taking BM simultaneouly . Hence CAT is English is 'kucing'and 'CAT' in Malay is 'paint'
So English must be taught with memorizing spelling (as in Mandarin -memorizing characters). Dictation is thus inevitable.
4. Learning of English Grammar must begin with 'components of a sentence' such as 'Noun and its various components namely common, proper, genders and so on and so forth; so be it "verb and its tenses, adverb & adjectives and what have you.
5. Sentences have its components and thereby we begin to construct sentences after acquiring understanding the aforesaid;
5. Another vital and integral part of learning English is the comprehension. Then comes composition , thence letter writing, literature and so on and so forth;
I fail to observe this in the present Sekolah Rendah or even Secondary. Hence the poor showing.
Would you agree that we have to go back to the basics? There are no shortcuts in mastering languages.
I have spoken to a few MPS requesting them to suggest (in the Parliament) not to compel the children to learn Mathematics and Science in English.
It woukd be better if we revert to Special Malay Class (maybe in different entity) that we once enjoyed during our days. Bring together the creams from the various Sekolah Kebangsaan and let them learn the long but assuring methods of learning and acquiring knowledge in Science and Mathematics in English. The rest(those unsuccessful) may later try in Remove Classes in Secondary School or carry on in the Malay Streams. Graduates from UKM (medium of instruction was BM) did not lag behind at all.
Instead of quarreling in Parliament. media and on the street, let us allow those who are not from English speaking families to be at par with their counterparts in the cities but not by using short-cut methodology. Otherwise children with high acumen dor Maths and Science become victims and dropped to the sideways.
History has proven this. Do not be over-zealous with languages. Nevertheless, there should not be any compulsion in languages too. DO NOT FORCE THE CHILDREN TO LEARN MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCES IN ENGLISH, WHEN THE TEACHERS THEMSELVES ARE ILL-EQUIPPED WITH THE PROPER TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT. THE WORST PART IS THE COMPULSION TO TEACH THE SUBJECTS WHEN THE SCIENCE & MATHEMATICS TEACHERS THEMSELVES HAVE NO ACUMEN FOR ENGLISH. IT HAS GONE ONE HAY-WIRE BUT NEVER TOO LATE TO RECOUP.
I ( who am I?) would rather encourage (or even compel) the Malay (Muslim) pupils to take up ARAB comprehensively (not half-past sixly), because Muslims who are blind to Al-Quran, may tend to go astray.
Besides English , ARAB is a another concised and beautiful languange. One word with some prefixes and suffixes makes completely sensible sentence. You may have heard in Quranic recital (Al Baqarah) as follows: UZKURUNI WAZKURKUM : You remember me. I remember you. Wow!! I intend to post my findings about the beautiful Arab Language in forthcoming posts .
Jazakkalahu khairan jaza'. Maaasalamah wa illaliqa