Let’s give real attention to the English language

THERE is no doubt that our education system has always been a work in progress even if the basic fundamentals, premised on political and social realities, are not questioned.

At the primary level, the national schools co-exist alongside the national-type schools, before merging at the secondary level and beyond.

The primary language used within the system, Bahasa Malaysia, is never in doubt, but there continues to be strong, and often times, emotional arguments, for equal emphasis to be placed on other languages.

There are pressing needs in the vernacular schools system, be it Chinese or Tamil, in terms of teaching resources and infrastructure facilities.

Likewise, even in the national schools, there are weaknesses that need to be rectified.

While the recent vociferous calls by certain interest groups may be premised on legitimate concerns, we must not fuel the issues with emotion or allow them to be politically hijacked because of the impending general election.

Amidst the debate, let us also give real attention to equipping our students with a language skill that will truly take them places – a high proficiency in English.

The English language has taken a back seat for too long ever since English-medium schools were abolished in the early 1970s.

We have seen how the standard of English has gone down progressively through these three decades or so.

Read more @ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/3/28/nation/11002174&sec=nation

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