Friday, July 17, 2009

PPSMI- tak hilang hebat Melayu bila petah berbicara inggeris

The teaching of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) implemented in 2003 replaced Malay and other ethnic languages as the medium of teaching instruction for science and mathematics subjects in primary (elementary) and secondary (high) school level. It is set for a final decision after long reassessment and repeated delay, with influential lobby groups at the center stage aimed to appeal to the Ministry of Education to revert to the previous policy of teaching science and mathematics subjects in Malay and other ethnic languages. Their main argument has been to preserve the relevance of ethnic languages especially the preeminence of Malay language as the national language in the age of rapid globalization.
We may rightly ask why there is still such great resistance 6 years after its implementation. Besides, Ministry of Education has clearly stipulated the objectives of PPSMI in raising future competitiveness of students and the nation overall.
PPSMI have focused on the superiority of the English language as it is an international language and a tool for science, technology and business. Academic literature and scientific reports are mostly written in English. With the popularity of the Internet, it is in the interest of Malaysians to be fluent in English. Malaysians benefited from learning English without left any inches of our mother tongue. Many rural Malays, Chinese, Indian and other ethnics benefited from having a good command of English We cannot make the excuse to abolish PPSMI due to poor English competence among the teachers. So Mathematics and science should be taught in English no matter how hard it may be to teach our children, we must execute it so that they will be more competitive internationally in the future.
Ethnic Malay student delivered a blunt critique that more time is needed to judge the progress of PPSMI and it should not be construed as neglecting the significance of Malay language. Are we denying the fact that most science books are in English? We are still teaching Malay language and ethnic languages in History, Geography, and Islamic study and not to mention all the elective subjects. PPSMI does not negate the status of the Malay language but will ensure that the young can compete globally. PPSMI was needed so that students could grasp the concept of subjects in an international language. It will facilitate learning of science and technology as 90 percent of information on science and mathematics is in English.
2007 first group of student had taken SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) trough PPSMI result show incrase espcially on maths and science subject.
Director of Education Department Johor, Ramlan Sariman,said to Utusan Malaysia
“mata pelajaran Biologi menunjukkan peningkatan kelulusan sebanyak 4.87% (91.45%-96.32%), Matematik Tambahan 6.81% (68.61%-74.76%), Fizik 8.76% (94.87%-97.63%), Matematik 1.04% (77.61%-78.65%) dan Sains Tambahan 4.29% (86.25%-90.54%), sekaligus membuktikan bahawa bahasa perantara bukan penghalang dalam kejayaan dalam pelajaran peringkat menengah.”
2008, 518,616 primary (elementary) pioneer student of PPSMI seat the UPSR. They have option to anwser in malay, english, chinese or Tamil or more than one language.
13 November 2008 – Berita Harian
Chief Director of Malaysia Education, Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom reported said,
“ keputusan rasmi dilaporkan mencatatkan hasil yang menggalakkan dari segi penggunaan Bahasa Inggeris dalam matapelajaran sains dan matematik. 159,234 orang murid (31% dari keseluruhan pelajar) menjawab kertas Sains dalam bahasa Inggeris sementara untuk kerta Matematik, bilangannya adalah 238,153 orang (46%).
Para pelajar diberi pilihan menjawab soalan Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Malaysia, Inggeris, Cina atau Tamil atau lebih dari satu bahasa.
When a contentiously protracted education decision is no longer strictly an education issue, it blows up to the center stage with strong public debate and protest. I think it is another cynical move by the group of people who have a personal advantage to erode the trust of the people, especially the Malays, by picking up and sponsoring the issues to portray mass dissatisfaction of public against the present government. They do not have the genuine interest of the people in mind. They are contemptuously selfish and concerned only with their own agenda in gaining power. Knowing very well that issues such as National Language could be a good area to sow the feeling of discord, they therefore strategically pushed the panic button amongst Malays with ludicrous statistics of poor showings of rural Malay students in the said subjects putting the blame squarely on the language policy. But the fact remains that the rural Malay students are generally weak in these subjects even when they were taught in Bahasa Malaysia. Education Ministry must continue current policy to teach math and science in English for the benefit of our children and also please let parents themselves decide what is best for their children and not those bahasa activist goons.
Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English has been politicized by the very unethical group of individuals. They claimed that pupils are not able to learn well in English! Give our kids an early and more exposure to English. It’s only 2 subjects in English and not the whole syllabus. Think of it as an alternative common language to strengthen the unity among fellow Malaysian. We still have BM as our national language. The bottom line is, we still need to learn English. So, why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone?
I say parents must have confidence in their kids and motivate them to excel in their studies. No need to oppose something which is good in the long run.
Views from public:Mr. Poobalan, an online social activist supported the move for the Indian community but with a special condition: Proponents of Tamil as the medium can argue that materials are available in Tamil, and the possibility of those subjects being taught by non-Tamil teachers. However, I think a clause can be included that the teachers of Science and Math must be bilingual so that when necessary the teachers can provide explanation in either Tamil or English.Parents and students of various ethnic backgrounds highlighted here are fairly supportive of PPSMI, but is it a bias that because they are proficient in English? What about those from rural community who are struggling with English and whose opinions are not represented at all in social media platform?
As the core argument revealed from above, it incessantly centers on the debates of ethnic language and cultural preservation, future competitiveness for students and the nation, along with implementation obstacles and recommendations. So the title sums up the dilemma here, does globalization progress can only be attained at the expense of our unique ethnic identity in a multi-ethnic country?
Ajiz7 said, If there is a choice, most would want their kids to master English. If there are English medium schools, most middle class parents would send their children there because they understand the advantage of English. If a child is taught well from young, while he may not turn out to be a linguist, his mastery of the language would be sufficient to put him at an advantageous position. The problem is not the medium of instruction. A lot of it lies in the quality of instruction which points directly to the teachers. Get it right at the basic level i.e. train competent teachers) and probably the rest of the problems will slowly ease away. It will take time but it can work.
Memorandum from UNESCO (1951:691) said: (On educational grounds we recommend that the use of the mother tongue be extended to as late a stage in education as possible. In particular, pupils should begin their schooling through the medium of the mother tongue, because they understand it best and because to begin their school life in the mother tongue will make the break between home and school as small as possible.)
Due to the nature of the country, nobody will be 100% satisfied with the way things are done. None of us can say if teaching Science/Mathematics in English is a bad thing because the current crop of students is still undergoing the change. The results may only be evident when they graduate university, 10 years later.
While "content" is more important than the language it is delivered in, there is no denying that for science based courses, English is the "lingua franca" and the students will have to face this fact sooner or later. If the students are not taught these things at the primary level, they are going to either face it at the secondary or tertiary level, at the latest. If we wait till they reach university to expose them to it, they will all end up like the current crop of graduates, who are forced to study their textbooks with a dictionary at their side, graduate without a useful command of the language, resulting in difficulty securing jobs inside and outside the country.
If we decide to expose them to it at the secondary level, it may be even more difficult than the primary level. By this time, all the basics are already formed. In secondary school, the students also need to deal with a much heavier load and are exposed to a larger number of subjects. I don't see how it will actually help to switch them over at the secondary level in English, instead of the primary level.
At the primary level, yes, the child will suffer initially and may not do very well at school. So, the parents are unable to brag about their child's accomplishments and may need to coax the child a bit more. But kids at that age are very resilient and quick learners. They will be able to adapt and learn things faster at this level. They also have less of a work load to deal with at this level. Let the kids suffer a little when they are small. Which employer actually asks you for your primary school results anyway? Build up a solid foundation at this level and then things will be much easier for them at a later stage. It would also give them 6 extra years of "usage", which may help in communication.
The Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) is truly a one of a kind group of people.
These opponents of PPSMI are mostly those who were educated in the English medium i.e. in senior Cambridge, MCE, and etc. Despite their educational background (they spend their school life in the English medium) they remain passionate about Bahasa Melayu and this proves that regardless what language one chooses to adopt as his medium, he can remain patriotic to his national language.
Gapena and former DBP stalwarts who are leading the GMP should accept much blame for the need to resort to study the two subjects in English as there are insufficient translated works. If they had not been busy playing politics and instead focus on
translating those Mathematics and Science books into Malay, the necessity to revert to English for the two subjects would have been diluted. These people need to answer about this ineptitude first and foremost before launching themselves into this lose-lose situation.
In my opinion, ever since national schools were fully converted into Malay medium, Malay students sent abroad to study Mathematics and Science related disciplines failed to be outstanding at least in their first year which was spent to understand the terms and jargons in English. If Malays are to progress in a global environment, they have to master Mathematics and Science-related disciplines and not Arts and Social Sciences, which incidentally the disciplines of most of those in the GMP. Hence, I am skeptical whether these people would be empathetic with the situation faced by the Science students.
The question is, how long are the Malays going to try to make everything easy for their children? Surely a bit of a struggle makes them tough by introducing PPSMI. Why are we pampering our children so much? Or are we actually trying to pamper the teachers and the people in DBP? Are they burdened with too much work? Is teaching Mathematics and Science that difficult for the teachers? Is translating English books to Malay an extremely arduous task? The reason why not many scientific books were translated from English into Malay was precisely because there is lack of people in DBP that could understand the scientific terms in English.
Furthermore, when PPSMI was introduced, the national schools were at its lowest ebb with non-Malays preferring vernacular schools. By introducing PPSMI back in 2002, the national schools were selling a new packaging which was supposed to be more appealing to the less chauvinist non-Malays. Did we not hear all the calls by parents that the level of education in Malaysia is deteriorating? Are the people in GMP having the same aspirations with the parents? Arguments those countries like Japan and Korea had done well in fields of Mathematics and Science is not a comparison as their nations which included their advanced status in the two fields had allowed them to progress while sticking to their national language. Eventually, they had become a strong nation which could glorify and protect their own language.
Lately, even this seems to have saturated as these nations are scrambling to push their people to adopt English once again especially in the two fields. In a matter of year’s time, China for instance, will become the biggest country in the world which has English as a speaking language.
Comparatively, Malaysians are more in demand than Indonesians or Thais in the international market merely because they speak English. But that had only confined them in the service industry and menial tasks. With their command of the language in the Science and Mathematics, they will be highly in demand for the more advanced technological field. It has only been 6 years since the policy was introduced. Give it a chance to flourish. As it is, it had not caused any damage to the students. It is more ethical for the people in DBP to support PPSMI than to be against it. For the pride of the national language, they should work hand in hand with the government on how to improve the PPSMI approach. Not to be against it totally. They need to push the teachers to be more dedicated and hardworking so that they will become proficient enough to teach in English. To protect a national language, one has to be strong enough to do that.
In the time of the Malacca Sultanate, Malay was the lingua franca of the region because they were a successful race, capable of standing on their own.
How did they become successful so that Malay became the lingua franca? By being leaders in the economy, being able to gain knowledge by studying books from other civilizations. They learned other languages to gain the upper hand in commerce at that time. Malay language did not become lingua franca overnight. It became the lingua franca just because the people who spoke the language became great.
What good is the national language if the knowledge pool of the people is diminishing? What good is the national language if the DBP could not even perform their task to quickly translate English books into Malay? In my opinion, GMP is just trying to cover up their own weaknesses.
Months of debate on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) have not yet led to any decision by the Education Ministry. Should it continue teaching the subjects in English or revert to the use of Bahasa Malaysia as was the case prior to 2003?
It is relevant to review the arguments that have been tendered for and against PPSMI.
Sadly, the voices of those against PPSMI have not often been heard. There is the argument that PPSMI is contrary to the national language policy as enshrined in the Constitution and education acts, a view voiced by intellectuals and linguists even before the implementation of PPSMI in 2003.Others have said that by refusing to use Bahasa Malaysia in the teaching of Science and Mathematics, we are eroding the potential for Bahasa Malaysia as a language of science and academia. It cannot be denied that Bahasa Malaysia needs to be developed rather than marginalized. Creating Bahasa Malaysia terms for Science and Mathematics, as is necessary if the two subjects are taught in Bahasa Malaysia, is one way to enrich the language. So let us not hasten to dismiss the Bahasa Malaysia champions as ultra-nationalists. Rather, they should be lauded for pushing for the language to be enhanced. Of greater concern is the simplistic tendency to accuse them of politicizing the issue or that they are being used. In the end, nothing will progress.
Benefits of mastering the English language don't just come in the form of money or numbers. Mastering English opens one to a whole new world of knowledge previously researched by people from all around the world. This is so because English is the lingua franca of the world; many publications, discoveries and ideas from various countries will certainly be published in English.
However (The Star online 8 July 2009)said, The Cabinet decided on Wednesday that Mathematics and Science will be taught in Bahasa Malaysia and vernacular languages in stages from 2012 onwards. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who announced this, however, said more emphasis would be placed on learning English.
Allah know best.

2 comments:

srikandi melayu said...

Salam noah..

Sayang bile isu PPSMI ni dipolitikkan..rugi anak-anak bangsa melayu. tk dapat menguasai lebih dari satu bahasa.. sedangkan kita lihat bangsa lain tampa PPSMI mereka masih bole menguasai lebih dari 2 bahasa. Secara logiknya menyerapkan english dlm PPSMI bukan penentu org melayu itu lupa berbahasa malaysia. Melayu sudah bole pegang dunia, mengapa harus takut membuka minda. Wassalam

noah768 said...

wsalam srikandi...

yup...100% agree with you, that is the problem now when PPSMI been politicized by the very unethical group of individuals.. n i regcon thy never have any reason to abolish PPSMI.. my personal xprnce as Malay language/bahasa melayu teacher for goverment school(97-04)..PPSMI tak hilang sedikit pun hebat kita sbgi org melayu.. khasnya dan rakyat malaysia amnya. Allah know best.

stay bless Gee..
noah.