Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reliving the myth of the lazy natives? On the PPSMI issue.



The refusal to teach Mathematics and Science in English is not just and ideological position but an idiotic one as well.

It is an attempt to self-fulfill a prophecy that the rural children especially the Malays, cannot be challenged and must continue to be given easy passes through social promotion.

The refusal to acknowledge that English is currently a language of scientific progress, more than Bahasa Melayu, is an example of the policymakers' and Malay language nationalist's hypocrisy in dealing with success.

Based on spurious research findings headed by a teacher training university, sanctioned by other public universities, the government has erred in its decision that will not only impact the future of Malaysian children in a continually globalised world where English is the lingua franca.

And this will open up avenues for the establishment of classes of schools, increasing the demand for the setting up of private schools that will emphasise the English language as a language of instruction and a rigorous curriculum that will prepare students for a competitive world.

The premise that Malay children cannot follow instructions in English and therefore not only standards should be lowered and subject matter made easier, but the teaching of Mathematics and Science itself must be reverted to the Malay Language points to this: that Malay children especially are presumed to be losers even before all avenues of success are provided.

Because in one study they voiced their concern over their inability to understand instructions, the future of a generation is sacrificed.

It is like saying that the more a child says that he/she does not like school, the less the teachers need to work to challenge them.

While children of the privileged in urban areas get first class education through private and international schools or even in high schools abroad and get master the English Language (so that they can be given places and sponsorship in English-speaking universities abroad), children of the rural poor are left to become victims of policies dictated by research findings that hardy make sense in the realm of educational futurism.

Retired professors , poet laureates, die-hard Malay nationalists who themselves are well-educated in the English language having tasted the successes and given national accolades become incoherent and hypocritical spokespersons to a government policy that will make the myth of the last native a reality.

'Strategically denying success to the poor'

These individuals do not understand changing times; that English is no longer a language of the colonials.

The colonies revolted against the colonials through the natives' mastery of the English language.

These individuals who are against the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English are giving wrong advice to the nation; mastering English does not mean challenging whatever status Bahasa Melayu has been accorded to.

The government is strategically denying success to the poor of all races, with this language policy reversal.

We are creating a nation at risk; incompetent in the language that will give them the chance to pursue their studies in good universities in the English-speaking world.

There is a specific process one needs to follow in order to gain access to Western education; especially in the fields of Science and Mathematics.

Many of the critical subjects are taught in English.

The multitude of English proficiency tests is evidence that one must understand English for specific purposes (especially in the Mathematics and Sciences) right up to being able to write a Bachelors, Masters, or even Doctoral and Post-doctoral dissertations in the English language - all these are stages one has to go through.

Especially for entry into American colleges where English proficiency
is given through tests ranging from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) to the challenging GRE (Graduate Record Examination), which require consistent polishing of skills not only in English as a language but English taught in the content areas.

The government has blundered big time, succumbing to irrational voices disguised as those who care about the rural poor who are slow to master Mathematics and Science concepts in English.

Who said kampong kids can't learn?

There are enough success stories of children of the poor of all races coming from the rural areas slogging and struggling hard to master any language and to any subject matter and triumph to become world-class surgeons, engineers, lawyers, academicians, diplomats, musicians, and even culinary experts.

Who said kampong kids cannot be challenged academically? There is enough evidence that if you provide them with dedicated teachers, a nurturing learning environment, a supporting home, and a challenging curriculum, and constant reminder of "yes you can" and "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" - kids will excel.

Down with those who are out to underestimate the ability of our children to succeed.

We must ignore bad advice and demand for success for all - urban and rural, Bumiputra or non-Bumiputra.

We must demand a radical restructuring of our schools so that the same standard and support is given to all schools and the commitment to a philosophy that however we want our own children to succeed, we want the children of others to achieve similarly as well.

Start early in teaching English. Put an end to any effort to make the myth of the lazy native a reality.

We must remove our glass coconut shell.

18 comments:

bibliobibuli said...

from someone involved in teacher training - science and maths in english was certainly doable and there were very many who worked hard to make it work. i feel terribly sorry for their wasted effort.

agree with you entirely, rural kids cannot and should not be shortchanged

what is important now is to focus on how english teaching can be supported in schools so that the basic language for science, maths and other subjects can be learned in english lessons. again it is doable but the will and resources have to be there.

i am glad to see more english teachers being trained, and i can tell you from personal experience (sitting in the back of classrooms observing them) that the quality is high. i hope they stay in the profession and are not lured away by the private sector.

telur dua said...

A competitive environment breeds winners.

Only losers think they can't compete without even trying.

Anonymous said...

Language divided people.Language is man created.
So we will always will be divided?The day you see no division , that the day you are nearer to god.Let look at another angle!!!

Danesh said...

We have always been though to fail. The system made lazy people... and now our children have to pay the price...

We really need to wake up!! I agree with you ... no one should be spared... put your color, race and religion aside for a change.....

onthestreets said...

Dear Dr.,
I think you are confusing between teaching & learning English and teaching & learning Science & Maths. Since when NOT teaching Science & Maths in English equals not challenging kampong kids academically?

I think we need to focus on the real issues.

Otherwise, I think you have excellent blog.

For an alternative view, you're invited to my blog at www.onthestreets.wordpress.com.

Anonymous said...

The situation is like this, we are smart, intelligent human being . Unfortunately these human being are possessed by ignorance. In malaysia we are possessed by Malay monkey , chinese monkey , Indian monkey , Sikh monkey and dll monkey.If we tried to talk to these monkey we will get monkey outcome. So we must first tame this monkey and not trying to speak sense to these monkeys .Hope Dr comes out with the antidote to tame this monkeys.Think out of the box.

The education and human reasoning have failed. I am into a new dimension of thinking where i am using myself as the test to validate my thinking , upon success the thinking logic will help the future generation of Malaysian.

This test will take another 24 months to complete. I will contact you then.

T H E . M A L A Y . P R E S S said...

Masalahnya Tuan Dr.

1. Bukan semua budak sekolah minat sains dan matematik dan english.
2. Bukan semua budak sekolah minat sains dan matematik
3. Bukan semua budak sekolah minat English.

Yang tak minat sains dan matematik depa nanti amik Aliran Sastera.
Yang minat sains dan matematik depa amik Sains Sosial dan Pure Science.

Baik sekarang yang masuk aliran Sastera kita lupakan dulu sebab nanti depa bukan nak jadi Saintis..depa nak jadi Pelukis dan Penulis dan lain-lain.

Untuk yang aliran Sastera ni, kukuhkan CARA PENGAJARAN SUBJEK ENGLISH dalam sistem persekolahan jadi SEMUA AKAN DAPAT MANAFAAT.

Ok setel masalah - sekarang fokus pula pada yang minat sains dan matematik - MAHU ATAU TIDAK DEPA BELAJAR SUBJEK tu dalam English?

Atau adakah dengan mengajar SAINS DAN MATH dalam ENGLISH akan terus mengurangkan MINAT YANG TELAH SEDIA ADA..ATAU MENGURANGKAN PERFORMANCE MEREKA sebab mereka minat SAINS DAN MATH tapi x minat ENGLISH....

Dengan cara PUKUL RATA mengajar SAINS DAN MATH dalam ENGLISH sebenarnya bukan ingin menidakkan atau insulting the intelligent of the poor, tapi sebenarnya ia bakal membunuh terus minat mereka kepada 2 subjek tersebut hanya kerana ENGLISH....

Tuan Dr perlu tahu...bukan semua OMPUTIH dekat US dan ENGLAND tu pandai MATH dan SCIENCE walaupun mother tounge depa ENGLISH....

T H E . M A L A Y . P R E S S said...

Dengan kata lain...bukan x boleh ajar tapi AJARKAN SAINS DAN MATH pada mereka yang minat dan berada dalam ALIRAN SAINS-EKONOMI...sebab tajuknya pun PPSMI..

tq

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

GET CORRECT AFFAIR WITH LANGUAGE

Cultivate a love for the modern language
And we'll quickly get out of the stone age
Learn language with poems and dramas on stage
And we'll no longer be confined in mental cage

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 270709
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
Mon. 27th July 2009.

T H E . M A L A Y . P R E S S said...

Learn language with poems and dramas on stage.

This is art...

vasantarao appalasamy said...

Dr Azly
i respect you very much..
but i nvr respect the word 'bumiputra' and 'non-bumiputra' in your writing...

i hope u r not another racist than following 'apartheid' system in Malaysia....

T H E . M A L A Y . P R E S S said...

i think we malaysian never failed badly in Math and Science. Its the Anglish that make thing worst.

.: We should abolish all Anglish teaching or watsover influence the colonial brought to this country and become a thruly Malay Aparteid Nation if that they really want.

We must do 'foreigner' bashing and such...

I think if they continue to say Aparteid again and again..it will come true...

Bumiputera is orang Asli...Non-Bumi is Orang Datang masa zaman British....

Tamerlane said...

Aparheid is when a minority group controls everything. Which is what will happen when the malays lose their political power. There already exist race based segregation in terms of neighborhood, areas, schools, employement in private sector, shops etc.. “you can put lipstick on a pig” but pendatang is still pendatang

Anonymous said...

Kalau tak minat hidup tak perlu hidup? Tak minat makan tak perlu makan? Tak minat belajar tak perlu belajar? Pemikiran sebeginilah yang sedang menjahanamkan generasi muda. Siapakah anda untuk mengatakan mereka tiada minat untuk belajar Bahasa Inggeris dan belajar Matematik dan Sains dalam Bahasa Inggeris? Did u carry out and studies or surveys? The only ones I heard that were carried out came back with people opposing this change. I guess M.A.L.A.Y PRESS is just another racist who thinks non-Malays are out to get them. People like u should hang out with Hitler and Sadam when u get to hell.

Anonymous said...

who says knowing just malay is retarding scientific and technological progress in the country? Our strategy should be to incite nuclear war between the developed nations. They tend to own nuclear arsenals or be allied to one nuclear power. When they have bombed each other back to the Stone Age, malaysia will be the most advanced nation by default and the malay language the dominant language. Since they can't be bothered to learn English, here's an easy way out.

Anonymous said...

Apartheid does not mean minority control. The word is Afrikaan that means basically a state of seperation, in America, it's called segregration, a state of affairs that keeps the races apart. Whatever the justification there are or how valid it is, can a State really maintain its social cohesivenesss or its existence permanently or is conflict going to be the natural consequence of such policies? The NEP was a daring attempt at social and economic re-engineering to adress the disparities, economics, education, standard of living ect ect...unfortunately it became a sacred cow with fatcat corpulent politicians and their business bitches suckling on the cow's teats and the rest of us to lick the drops on the floor. I am a Malay and this is Tanah Melayu but i cannot see this land as somehow belonging to me,rather i belong to this land.

Norman RA Noordin said...

Salam, Dr Azly. I reposted your article above (http://norms-daily-grind.blogspot.com/2009/07/reliving-myth-of-lazy-native-ppsmi.html?showComment=1249226021542#c7352668466635015230) and received a comment from Brian Barker (http://www.blogger.com/profile/17619597021388228806) as follows:

Brian Barker said...
Please do not overestimate the position of English.

I live in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.

The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is impractical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!

Impractical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.

Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is essential.

An interesting video can be seen at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU Professor Piron was a former translator with the United Nations

A glimpse of the global language,Esperanto, can be seen at http://www.lernu.net
July 26, 2009 9:16 PM

Perhaps you'd like to respond.

Thank you & wasalam.

anak_malaysia said...

After reading all this - HELLO! Remember your previous post? http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/2005/12/50-language-of-imperialism.html

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.