Sunday, February 14, 2010

here we go again.....

another bird-brained unique idea is hatched....

the education minister just announced on TV (also read here) that a new english curriculum will be tried out on our guinea-pig students implemented next year, with emphasis on language arts & phonics.

who is going to teach the new curriculum? our local teachers, a large proportion of whom can't string together a decent sentence in english;

& who is going to train our local teachers to teach in english? overseas masters teachers, whose payroll will be expensive & who remain a stop-gap measure, & local retired teachers.

will our students and teachers be ready for this, esp when they collectively didn't take english in maths & science too well?

yes, i hear you moan : oh no! here we go again....


Unicorn Girl said...

heard my neighbour's kids speaking broken English ............I just had to correct those kids myself ! Can't blame them if they were taught the wrong grammer in school ! - lol ! So much for upgrading the school academics.

doc said...

Unicorn Girl,

the only way to regain command of english as spoken by those of my generation is to restart english-stream schools.

any other attempt to improve english is only temporary.

Bengbeng said...

the govt isnt sincere in trying to improve the std the of the language... good English isnt the thingy at the moment

doc said...


playing to the gallery seems to be the only skill politicians excel in.

Yan said...

I have this to say - from a 5-year-old's wisdom and the concern of the 19-year-old...

Many many years ago, Chris and I were travelling in a car. There were many major changes of the road system going on. The young Chris said, "Mum, why can't the government think and plan carefully before building the road? They built a road, after a few days, they change again."

Many years later, the 19-year-old girl said to his brother, "If they change the teaching of science and maths to BM next year, please come to Adelaide to study, Jie-jie (sister) will take care of you."

Anonymous said...

I think they should focus on improving students' grasp of the English language before embarking on ambitious projects. Nothing wrong with the projects in itself but if one cannot improve on understanding the language, those projects are going to add stress to everyone!

doc said...


looks like not much has changed since those days - they are still re-digging the roads, flip-flopping on policies, etc.

so, will Chris be having secondary education in adelaide??

btw, you met the PM the other day -did you perhaps drop a hint on our education system?

doc said...

Mei Teng,

not only that - those projects would come to grief as long as English is not given the prominence it deserves. anyway, it will take at least a whole generation for any improvement to take place, thanks to ex-PM Dr M.

Yan said...


Ya, education was on my top list which I wanted to deliberate on, but there was no exclusivity of the interview which was meant to be. He was late for our session, so the next session of reporters from other newspapers joined us. I kept that subject and only listened to what he wanted to say...what a miss! Hopefully, real soon when he wanted to meet Sabah press :)

doc said...


hopefully you'll get to put forward your questions & we look forward to his (evasive?) response.

Yan said...


Evasive? But..... read this ..

Quote -
Rosmah said although Najib was a man of not many words, he should not be underestimated.

"I always tell others not to underestimate Datuk Najib, he is not easily angered but do not provoke him. If he is angry, there is no forgiveness for you.

doc said...


i wasn't referring to provoking him - i was just wondering if he could give a straight answer to a qn like:

"one generation ago when English was the medium of instruction, the students could speak & write in english with confidence & yet still have a strong command of BM, & we still had a world-standard university.

now, we have a large population of students who can only converse well in BM & remained largely unemployable outside of the civil service & universities that are mediocre at best.

what long-term measures can the govt adopt to reverse the decline?"

Loshini said...

i hope they let this scheme stay in place LONG ENOUGH for it to have effect :)

we have a history of cancelling lots of projects before the benefits can be felt just because everyone complains and the average scores in major examinations fall for a few years.

implementing it is one thing. Having the patience to let it help us is another issue all together! :P

doc said...

Dear Anonymous,

thank you for your comment but i had to ask my colleague to interpret for me.

my earliest recollection of friendship is what my primary school classmate wrote in my autograph book: FRANCE, which stands for


doc said...


i hope so also but i am not optimistic, esp. when it comes to english. currently, i see no politician strong or brave enough to reinstate english as a medium of instruction, or at least, give it more prominence.