Hard to swallow the hard facts
Thu, Aug 13, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network

I REFER to your report 'Soft landing and some hard facts' (The Star, Aug 12) stating that students can continue to learn Science and Mathematics beginning next year in Malay and English up to 2016 for those who are affected. The statement by the Education Ministry is leading us to see the hard facts which are even more disturbing.

Firstly, given the liberal choice, teachers who are less competent in English will not even venture to speak a word of English in class. Remember, when they were supposed to teach in English with all the monetary incentives, they failed to do so. What about now?

When rules are not clearly spelt out, compliance is easily thrown out. There will be substandard learning and teaching in the classroom. Everyone will do what he or she thinks is right, anarchy will rule!

Secondly, how are examination papers going to be marked. For the next five years, it will be chaos if the ministry does not take pro-active measures.

If the examiners themselves are not competent in English and not familiar with the terminology, students who answer in English will suffer.

The fact is the teachers are not going to be more and more competent as their competence in English is going to drop drastically beginning now. This is not a 'soft landing' for students.

Will papers answered in English be separated centre by centre to be marked by competent teachers? Will the cost of doing so be too much for the Examination Syndicate? Will the logistics be too cumbersome and will the ministry take the easy way out? These are some of the hard facts we need to chew on.

The minister can give an assurance, but can he ensure that what is said is complied with? This is another hard fact!

Batu Pahat (MALAYSIA)

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