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Malaysia’s education dilemma: Can Singapore save our schools from an English language collapse?

Will Malaysia's politicians have the humility to admit how they politicised education to serve their Machiavellian agendas?

Fluency in English would be an asset - NEIGHBORHOODDEVELOPERS.ORG

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Malaysia’s over dependency on migrant workers has now reached new heights. 

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim recently discussed with his Singapore counterpart the possibility of teachers from Singapore coming to teach English in schools in Malaysia. That was a wake-up call!

Have we reached rock bottom? Is it necessary for a country of 34 million to seek teaching assistance from a neighbour with six million people?

Didn’t the PM, in his attempt to drum up passion for Malay as the national language, state that government officials should not attend to any correspondence in the English language?

Didn’t netizens cry out in vain these past decades, warning of an erosion in English proficiency? Did they not plead in vain for policymakers in Malaysia to arrest the falling command of the language?

Would Singaporean teachers want to sacrifice their well-paying jobs to hole themselves in some sleepy hollow rural school or take a boat to get to work?

Would they want to spend days and months on end struggling in wooden rural school buildings without air-conditioning to help the young people of Malaysia master a language that continues to be under the claws of political masters? 

Let us get honest about this issue, which continues to haunt us. 

Shouldn’t we think about redeploying English teachers in Malaysia who had quit in frustration with the education system?

Have we thought about bringing back retired English teachers who are struggling to make ends meet?

How about headhunting those in Malaysia who may not be in the teaching profession but who can teach the language given their passion or involvement in the media and corporate world or in other professional engagements? 

READ MORE:  G25 on education reforms

Do we have the courage and conviction to look again at our dual-language (Malay-English) medium of teaching? Instead, we appear to be continually yo-yoing, uncertain whether to teach maths and science in English. 

Above all, will Malaysia’s politicians have the humility to admit how they politicised education for their narrow political advancement and to serve their Machiavellian agendas? This may well explain our predicament today.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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