Long, long time ago, when Robert Raymer was working in some office in Jalan Bawasah (the road behind FIMA?) and I was working in Jalan Larut, I used to bump into him during lunch hours. He wrote for The Star and also wrote a book, title of which I can’t recall now.
I lurveeeee his stories because it is so ‘local’. He is a mat salleh, obviously…..married to a Malay. So, he can describe our local scenes like he is a Penangite. There was once, I bought his book and wanted his autograph. I cornered him and asked him to sign for me. Now, it seems funny why I bother because I cannot even remember the title of the book and his face is just blurry blondish mat salleh, fairly good looking image.
He wrote something about the teaching of Science and Maths in English/BM. He said :
My son started Form 1 at Penang Free School that very year and he had a lot to say about that matter. He and his classmates were frustrated because when they asked questions in English to clarify what the math teacher was telling them, the teacher kept brushing their questions aside because his English was so poor.
The teacher probably didn’t even understand the questions let alone how to answer them. Basically, he lacked the necessary language skills in English that is required to teach a complex subject like math (and science for that matter.)
I think my son and his classmates can related to these frustrations. My #2 son also entered Form One, switching from BM to English. He has no problems at all because he watched a lot of those boring documentaries and we speak English with the kids when they were young.
If I allow him, he would tell the world how funny and crappy their teachers are. How some cannot even pronounce ‘one’ properly. And these are not just Malay teachers but Chinese teachers who speak broken English and good Mandarin. But of course, I told him Bro. Paul is not in SXI anymore and if he kena, I also kena and have no one to cover our arses. So, son, you shaddap, ok?
So, it looks like we are doomed. Let’s change government and try our luck and see if there are smarter politicians in the Pakatan Rakyat midst?
Full article by Robert Raymer on The Borneo Post