In my No 18 of this series I questioned whether I was being unjustly critical on the subject of PBS and, in general, on the education ‘blueprint’. When I was about to drop the issue from my mind two things prompted me to sit back to write this. First was the news splash on the endless PBS issue. There is no going back. It will be bulldozed through with a huge concession; teachers’ workload will be reduced by 80%.Isn’t that fantastic? Had no one ever thought through the implementation of a major project, or was there no one with his/her brain working outside the guitar box? How could such a huge impact on workload was never thought of; pure nincompoop. Now do I hear, “Hurray!!” from teachers on hearing the recent discovery of reduction on their workload ?
The second announcement made was the planned disappearance of the current PMR examination, making way for the emergence of yet another examination called PT3 – whatever that is, of world class, no doubt. I am surprised if we will not be told that before long the SPM will be called differently, like SP1M.
A Perfect solution !
As a rule, children join Almanar tuition class at Form 1, allowing sufficient time for us to give these children sound understanding of the basic knowledge in English language and Mathematics by the time they sit for their PMR examination three years later. This has proved successful. It is never our requirement that children are accepted on the basis of their good primary school records. Preference is given to those with poor family as long as the children are prepared to move at the pace we, taking cognition of the level of their knowledge, set for them,
Unfortunately there are instances when we get request for help from children at higher Forms. A typical example is the case of three girls of Form 4 who, ten days ago, approached Pakcik for help in English and Mathematics. They performed well enough in their PMR examination end of last year, gaining as many as 6 ‘A’ grades in subjects except English and Mathematics. Two of them managed to obtain ‘C’ grade and the third just ‘D’ grade in English. No one in that school obtained all ‘A’ grades in the examination. These three children are conscious of the need to get help but are not prepared to pay for evening tuition classes mushrooming around the area.
To have a very rough indication of the level of their English, I made them translate into English the following two Malay sentences:
“ Adam seorang budak bernama Ali. Dia mempunyai dua orang abang.”
Girl No 1’s answer : “Have a boy name Ali. He has two brothers.”
Girl No 2’s answer : "Have boy is name Ali. He have two elder brother.”
Girl No 3’s answer : “There are boy name Ali. He have two brothers.”
Wouldn't I heave a long sigh when I am faced with this situation? Will the ‘blueprint’, PBS and so on, solve it all in future ?
Special request to my visitors:
I know a number of visitors to this blog are teachers with experience in general and English Language in particular. Bearing in mind that many do not wish to give open comments for other visitors to read, I sincerely seek their comments, (via email to firstname.lastname@example.org ), on my thoughts related to education in Malaysia. I must admit that, entrenched in the system I was so familiar with half a century ago, I could have reflected a totally out-dated thoughts. I would not be embarrassed or offended to adverse comments which I am grateful for.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk keemanusiaan