Sabtu, 20 Disember 2008

Teaching science and mathematics in english: What decline?


HOW can the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English in vernacular schools contribute to erasing the cultural values of children?

Before 1970, when all subjects in Malaysian schools were taught in English, no race lost its cultural values. Today, it is even more difficult to forget our cultural backgrounds.

The government has made it a point to celebrate every major festival on a national scale.

Shopping centres sell all the traditional goods during these festivals. We have Little Indias and Chinatowns in almost every state.

Culture is something that is passed down from one generation to another. It is caught and not taught.
The Peranakan (Babas) do not speak Mandarin or other Chinese dialects fluently but are strong in their cultural traditions. A few of our past and present ministers are Peranakan.

If at all there is a decline in cultural values, then parents should be blamed for not instilling these cultural values in children.

Some traditional practices, such as letting off firecrackers, are discouraged because they contribute to pollution. Others are not practised because they are too costly to follow.

Learning Science and Mathematics in English is just like the practice of wearing suits, bridal gowns, army uniforms, school uniforms, jeans and using forks and spoons and many other things that have been accepted universally.

Those who claim there has been a decline in cultural values among Malaysians should state exactly how the decline has occurred (if these two subjects are taught in English) and not make general statements.

The New Straits Times Online: 19 Disember 2008

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