Alright2. So the last post didn't seem to be mind-blowing eh, haha! Well, one of my good friends told me, that I care too much about what people will comment about my blog. In some ways, yes I do. But at times, I just wanna let loose from the once-in-a-while mind-wrenching work and this tired body. But answering the questions using pics from Google Image actually added to my headache that night, haha. But I think the pics I pasted were really nice though, hehe.
I have a few heavy topics to discuss actually. But I can't do it at this time. I'll wait when I'm ready =) And you will have to wait too!
Okay. Now, let's discuss on the silenced topic on "Which language these schoolkids should study Maths and Science in?" Nothing have I heard about any objection on the decision made by the Minister of Education on continuing the teaching of Maths and Science in English. To me, there could be two reasons for it: One, because they respect the ministry's collective decision, and two, they are tired of fighting for Bahasa Melayu. I'll take reason #1.
Well, I wanna share my experience studying Additional Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics in Bahasa Melayu. Life in Form 4 was more to a a challenging year rather than a 'honeymoon year' definitely, where we were introduced to 'complex' subjects with 'complex' terminologies. If you were a science student too, and shared the same experience like mine, please do share.
I was excited then to be learning subjects I perceived as 'Whoa subjects', namely the four I mentioned previously. But there was one problem: to understand what the terminologies exactly meant. Especially in Add Math and Physics.
Add maths: Janjang (until now I can't really understand the word, though it's a malay word), Pengamiran (why 'Amir'? 'Integration' makes it a lot easier to understand why the mathematical operation is like that) Lokus Dalam Dua Matra (isn't it easier to say 'Dimensi' rather than 'Matra'?), Anu (in informal malay language usage, anu means 'that thing'. Translated in English to be 'Variable').
Physics: Troli terpampas geseran (You know what crossed my mind everytime we studied this? The Pampas in Brazil!), get logik (I never knew that there was a direct translation of 'logic gate' to 'get logik'. I though the concept was 'Get logic!')
Science: Titi Tetimbang (and in English, it's the more understandable 'Transistor'!)
Those are just a part of the kerzillion words that had my classmates and I confused of what we were learning. Thank God, we just made them easier to understand in our own ways by discussing them with the teachers, so that we could answer the exams correctly. And thank God, in SPM, the question setters didn't ask questions like 'Why is it called "terpampas geseran' or 'titi tetimbang'?" surely we would have memorized the terminologies dictionary instead. Painful!
And, the transition from learning in Malay to English in the University was QUITE a transition for most of us. We had this English Test for new university entrants, where most of the students who scored low were from boarding school (I wonder why..). I was quite taken aback by that fact. Though I passed and didn't have to go through Foundation Class, it wasn't fun to know that some of your friends were not there with you.
But then, that was just a small test. Venturing further into the mind-wrenching engineering subjects required most of us to have our own dictionary beside us everytime we were studying using the thick textbooks. Yes, it was time consuming, but in the end, we got out of the university with our english (I would dare to say) being way better than it was 5 years before.
So, in this present day, I would say that the younger generation is fortunate to be learning Science and Maths in English. I personally think that it is not a way to discriminate Bahasa Melayu. What good anyway does it bring Bahasa Melayu if most of the terminologies we have are direct translations from English, if not confusing terms that makes the learning harder?
Perhaps there are ways to inculcate the love for Bahasa Melayu inside the younger generation. Though I speak English most of the time, but I still love all the art and wonders there is in Bahasa Melayu. I also have high acclaims for those who have strong grip over the language, for not all have the strong command in this nation's mother tongue. The approach and the variety of learning materials and vocabulary usage at an early age probably, can help to instill the love for the language.
I suppose, if the children of the 80s were to be questioned about their experience in this matter, they would likely say the same. I might not think of this if not for the discussion I had with a few friends about this matter over a week ago. And yes, we had the same confusion. Either there were hiccups in the education system, or was it us who weren't bright enough to understand the terminologies, that can be another issue that can be debated on.
I think if the authorities of the education system were to conduct an exit survey of the students about their learning experience, that would be a great step to help the former improve their service. And an improved learning system will definitely benefit the progenies of the nation.