Kotastar left the following comment against my post ‘With a sigh ( Pt 8a )’. The gentleman behind Kotastar, suffice to say a product of the famed Kirkby teachers’ training college, explained briefly how a teacher of his era was trained. Here is what he wrote:
‘Thank you for remembering Kirkby and Brinsford Lodge. Yes they were two teacher training colleges set up for Malaysians overseas. Successful for that period.Don't know if the same experiment will show similar result. Just to enlighten. We started reading the 'Chong Beng' book and ended with almost all editions of Shakespeare and not to mention other literary books the likes of authors Thomas Hardy, Conrad, L. Stevenson and other literary figures. Only then, we were able to speak and write English as it was. Maybe as good as the Queen's English itself. So no short cut, no brief induction courses will push our teachers and students to that height. It took good six /seven years of hard learning, practice AND 2+ years overseas in native English speaking countries to get us to that position.Similarly people like Shahnon Ahmad,Kassim Ahmad ( two Malay writers) English educated with strong command of Malay Language to be active and well known writers. Mind you English Literature and Sastera were two strong subjects in school.Now?
Next,I attended our PAMKM (Persatuan Alumni Maktab Kirkby Malaysia last Tuesday at KL and surprisingly yr name was mentioned after I brought up your father- in- law's name. Dato Baharudin , Dr Shaari Isa and others know of your activities at AlManar. Our President Tan Sri Yahya too was surprised how an engineer got into such 'predicament' but with success. We referred to your 'kampong' near Tg Malim plus the durian tree.Ha.Ha what a small world. Just to let you know the old Collegians are still 'active' though many have even touch the octogenarian period.We are proud to be able to share your success story. Wishing that the teaching and learning of Malay and English too will find the lights in the tunnel.
Salam to you and 'family' Selamat Berpuasa dan Selamat Menyambut Shawal.”
I am truly humbled by what Kotastar related in the second part of his comment. A few truly learned people talked about Almanar and the person running it. It is praise indeed to be commented in that vein by these people. But my fear is that this may be a case of ‘Indah khabar dari rupa’.
Kotastar, you were not certain whether the ‘experiment’ you underwent to be a teacher in English would still produce good results today. I maintain we need not reinvent the wheel. Our ‘cerdik pandai’ have experimented and failed badly. And now we do not know how and where we have gone wrong that the result has been all but wrong. So now bring in the clowns.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.