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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Torture the Government :Holidays That Never Were

Note: Scroll down to read the essay.

The fortnight-long holiday has proven redundant for my case, mainly because 11 out of 16 days were not spent doing the "correct" things. Neither "correct" as in studying, nor "correct" as in "teenager correct", spending time on the computer. Instead, there were various "distractions" to pay attention to. Unfortunately, these "distractions" ate away my holidays.

Distraction Monster.

What am I talking about?? More like Monster of Destruction!!! Destroyed my holidays!! But it's okay, at least I learned a few things which I already know. I gained experience eventhough I could've done better. At least I know my capabilities. Without trying hard enough? Okay, good or bad hols, you judge.

1. We were quite good as a choir.
2. We still didn't champion the state.
3. We weren't slaughtered by CHS even though we knew we sucked a lot for the MCE competition.
4. We screwed up the MCE competition, thus not being able to gauge our true capabilities. In case you don't know, we were judged by REAL judges.
5. I've made Filipino friends.
6. I did not communicate much with the Batu Lintang or the Sibu group (eek).
7. I took a lot of group pictures, this time, most of them contained me in the pic.
8. The camera was blur most of the time. (Fussy with blur pics).
9. I improved tremendously in Scrabble and got a worthy position.
10. I flunked Scrabble terribly.
11. I think I can pass Yamaha grade 4.
12. My voice cracked when I was singing, and the examiner thought I couldn't sing high notes even though I know I'm soprano 1. Heck.

13. I know Gheek is nuttier than usual.
14. Catholics like tempe.
15. Starbucks consoles people.
16. The scrabble team consists of Adam Lambert fans (who don't respond to my poll).
17. Shu Wen's dad's phone got misplaced, later known as lost.
18. I like KL.
19. Most people enjoy loitering.

I did not have the free time to send my complaints to Star or the government yet, so I'll post my opinions here for the time being. If there are any points you wish to add, please let me know. If you're some legendary debater or public speaker, advice on how to present my points are greatly appreciated. (Please note that I'm planning to send this to the papers).

I have been reading the news on the currently controversial English subject. As a secondary school student, I wish to express my disappointment towards the reluctance to turn English into a compulsory “pass” subject in SPM. I was really shocked when I read that there were groups that actually wanted to call off the implementation. Looks like some of us have already conceded defeat before the fight even began.

Are we Malaysians really that doubtful of our abilities? We’ve conquered Mount Everest, swam across various channels, broken many records and yet we claim that we cannot master the English language. How ridiculous is that? We all know that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Apparently, there isn’t much determination to master the language now, is there?

I would like to know, why are we so unwilling to improve and help ourselves? We all know that English is the global medium of communication in important fields such as science and technology. Yet why is our government still beating around the bush, debating about such a trivial issue such as making the language a compulsory subject to pass in SPM? Why is it so hard to accept a language which equals to global importance?

Don’t keep repeating that rural students and teachers are not able to master and teach English effectively. We’re tired of hearing that already. Just because English isn’t our mother tongue doesn’t mean that we have to neglect it and only focus on the national language alone. Yes, we should feel proud of Bahasa Malaysia as our national language and be proficient in it, but that does not mean that we have to forsake English because that is the language that will bring us out into the world.

Having said that, stop using the rural students as an excuse to not make the subject compulsory, as all you are implying is that you doubt your citizens’ capabilities. What about those teachers who have strived to bring out the best in their students? What about those students who have worked hard for themselves? Students of today are the future of our country. How can anybody use the rural area students’ discomfort towards English as an excuse to jeopardize the nation’s future? Honestly, have you heard of adaptation, perseverance and hard work? If we all want to move forward as a nation, then we should really walk the talk. If we are willing to accept English as a compulsory subject, then of course we can improve. There are people out there who will work hard to master the subject, so don’t presume that we give up that easily. Don’t look down on our abilities. Instead, we should give each other assurance that we can do it.

One of the reasons as to why the standard of English is so low is because the subject is not compulsory to pass to get the SPM certificate. Students perceive it as a less important subject, and so do the teachers, who utilize their English-teaching period to teach other subjects. If it were compulsory, then students and teachers alike would treat this subject differently and make an effort to excel in it, just like Bahasa Malaysia.

If we want to compete on a global basis, then we should really open our minds and hearts to learn English. This is education and not politics, so don’t gamble with our future. Please don’t let Malaysia be left behind.


I know it's rather short for a complaint, so please help. If you're a M'sian student, all the more you should help. (Calling overseas help as well). Please, please, please try to make this sound thought-provoking. Help me make an ending as well. Right now, the ending sounds dead and emotionless. Thanks so much.

Now, I'll just have to ....err....translate my whole passage to Nonsense Form to send to the government, so that they can estimate M'sian's English quality. I think I'll start with "I'm has read the new's about the funneh Enggrish subjek and wants to shows disapoinment on the garventmen......"

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you can help.

Edit: If you were wondering, yes, I DID send this letter to the Star. But, like I said, no way are they going to publish it.

LazyBones

4 Comment(s):

Zi Ying said...

I agree completely!!! Although i would normally just rant on my blog with a big F U to the government.

...

...Do we want the other countries to make a big joke out of our low standard of English? An A in English in SPM means nothing these days. (Some foreign universities do not accept the STPM results due to the low standard. - can this even be included here?) This is education and not politics. Please do not forsake (is this the correct word?) the future of us students when we all know that English is just as important as Bahasa Malaysia (if not more important). PLease don't let Malaysia be left behind.

...

Yea... I think that was a really thought provoking article fopr you to send, and guess what? I like editing rantings. XD

Ben said...

Wow.. Your enggrish is very very good hor... I is thinking them garventments never is caring about us lah.

Okay, I'll stop talking nonsense from now.

Let me keep this simple, I think this letter/essay is something people wouldn't expect from a secondary student. And I'm really impressed on the way you wrote, haha...

Especially the "conceded defeat before the fight began". That alone is quite thought-provoking, I think.

Anyway, I think you're on the right track on getting the government to "wake up". (Although it's almost impossible)

If you want, you could add that we need better teachers who can speak fluent English too. We don't want cheapskate education from schools anymore, or something like that..

That's all! :D

James Chong said...

Yes. I agree.

Well. We are underestimated and that is percisely why the government wants to do such ridiculous things.
Although the government want a rise in our education level , it seems like they do not understand how we could improve in many other ways. I feel this way is really immature or shall I say , "stupid"?

There is one thing that I really agree with. You mentioned that the government are just using a lame excuse like rural students and teachers are not able to master and teach English effectively.

Honestly speaking , it will only cause more trouble to them. Why not they have courses or extra lessons on grammar? This is really disturbing.

Anyways , I was recommended to read this post by my friend , Alexandria from DU school. Pleased to meet you.

Ĺăžчβöйєŝ © said...

Wow. Hi humans. *Waves frantically*

Thanks for reading the post and thanks for suggesting new stuff as well.

The letter has been sent already although I did not bother to rejumble the letter to the EdMin (Education Minister) lest my head gets jumbled up instead.

I hope the recipients don't find my letter too "harsh". Anyway....there aren't any "seditious" remarks nor racially motivated statements around, so there's a very little chance of me being...err...*touchwood*...

-The author of this post wishes that Star publishes his/her/its work so he/she/it can have the right to call for a mass protest, which includes the Science and Maths issue as well-

=D

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