Sunday, April 27, 2014

Political Leaders Failed our Kids in the English Language Sector !!!

This was troubling me for a long while - why does it seem that the quality of thinking our younger generation ( those in their twenties now) has deteriorated drastically compared to the twenties of my generation.

Not only their command of the English language atrocious, their command of the Malay language is nothing to shout about, the things they talk about and how they talk about it is generally puerile, superficial and sadly reflective of a generation without thinking skills.

I chanced upon a few writings of some 18 year olds of my generation. I was stunned at the depth and deepness of their thinking? I looked at some of my own writings - I was writing philosophical stuff, politics and religion at 16 ! All these was normal for my generation and I dare say those writings would be considered "too high level" even for graduates of today> So, what went wrong?.

1. Firstly,  I think is the politicisation of the National Language. The use of BM as a medium of instruction and thinking has actually hindered thinking abilities and education potentials. The reason is simple - BM is limited in words and in concepts. The less words you have the less you are able to think and conceptualise. There are many concepts in the English language which is alien to the Malay culture (which determines the BM). The potential to think is curbed by the limitation of the Malay language. Matters are made worse by the inefficiency of Dewan Bahasa to churn out effective words in BM.

There are not many quality books in Malay and since it is the Malay officer who decides what books to be allowed to be translated into Malay, the more zealous "nationalist" ones does not allow critical stuff to be translated. Books in Malay or bahasa Indonesia which is critical are banned. So, society's thinking levels is being shaped by the low level thinking of the officers put in charge.

I still shudder with shame when I recall a former KSU of the Transport Ministry saying " Kita Melayu jadi kita cakap lah Bahasa Malaysia" in a meeting when one of the persons explained in English! I later discovered that he can hardly speak English !!!

Could it because of this kind of "culture" and regressive mindset of those in authority that only books in Malay are banned while more critical or controversial books in English are not?

2. Social engineering gone wrong. The various steps and quests taken to produce more Malay graduates have not matched quantity with quality. Quite apart from making local Malay graduates insular, they have been given a wrong impression of excellence by giving mediocrity the semblance of excellence. The entire country is now suffering from mediocre and weak human capital in all of its sectors - private and especially public sector.

3. Politicisation of education - the curriculum itself has been compromised by those in authority who are least qualified to determine the contents of education. There has been no long term educational policy since Merdeka which kept changing with changes in the Minister of Education Manipulation and skewing of facts in the contents of subjects such as "history", "kajian am" and so on.

4. Religiosity in schools - this was and probably is the biggest hindrance to quality education. Pseudo-religious teaching and packaging masquerading as Islam in schools has distracted the teachers to teach relevant subjects effectively and distracted the students from learning. Religiosity seemed to have crept into every sector of the schools. Today this has also crept into almost every sector of the government and ministries to the extent that efficiency and relevance has been compromised.

What do you think ?

Peace !

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