10 July, 2009

Of course blame the execution, not the policy.

This matter that concerns English is pointed with the wrong finger. Education of Math and Science in English was first of all not planned properly in terms of resource. Now we have the PM saying that only a tiny number of teachers teaching Math and Science are comfortable teaching in English. Now... this is not the case that the students are having a hard time coping but it is the fact that teachers have a tough time coping.

Here I would like to raise the question on what is actually the content of teacher's training? If the training had a complete and comprehensive syllabus there would not be a problem where teachers are not comfortable teaching in English. We cannot blame the quality of students without first peeling the causes on the teacher's account.

Why is that teachers in the old days can converse very well in English? The current crop of teachers too can't be blamed. It is the execution of the education policy and the various programs that are not given much thought. The KPIs are not followed and a blind eye is given in regards of being lenient which now directly translates to the cause of the teachers themselves are not properly capable.

Having more hours for the English subject in school is not enough. Establishing an English Club for extra curricular activities cant do much because participation is not compulsory. Fine teach Math and Science in whatever mother tongue. Why not substitute it for History or Geography? What about Accounts and Economy? Moral Studies and Islamic Studies? Why not consider this?

Believe me the only way to master a language is to speak, read and write it as often as possible. Not relegate it into it's own subject of study. I bet you this, I can throw a coin randomly in a crowd of undergraduates and 9 out of 10 of them can't tell the difference what is past tense and present tense let alone speak good English. Honestly I worry with great disgust on the probability that my children and grandchildren will go to public schools and not being able to master the English language. Just to safe-guard the family and their future I might just resort to teaching them English myself.

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