Primary School Students In Kuantan Weak In English Grammar. Should We Be Surprised?
Pupils in primary schools here were mainly found to be weak in English grammar and vocabulary and teachers were reminded to take the initiatives to overcome the problem.
According to Kuantan district education officer Yahya Zainal Abidin, one of the reasons was because the pupils read less English books. On this, Yahya said he was working on a project that would involve Year Five pupils, who were good in English, to be a mentor or model for their friends.
"It is better to start them from Year Five rather than Year Six, a year earlier may do good for them. I am now working on the matter on how to generate the interest and encourage those who are poor in English to emulate their friends who are better in the language,'' he said.
***** The shortsighted policies instituted decades ago for purely political reasons have now come back to haunt us. Year after year we churn out students who are pathetically hopeless in English. Those who have some competency are from either bigger towns or from families who had realized the importance of having a good command of the language.
The most affected by these policies which remarkably lack in foresight, are the poor kampung dwellers and other rural folk, who never really stood a chance from the very beginning. To add to this mess, the government from time to time changes its direction, blowing hot and cold towards serious implementation of plans to improve English competency. Once in a while the education authorities seem to come to their senses and unveil workable schemes. However chauvinistic forces inevitably get into the picture, raising a hue and cry about the national language being downgraded and ignored. The next second, on the orders of senior politicians with an eye to popularity and votes, the plans are reversed and linguistic standards continue to slide.
For such is the sad tale of a country ruled by people who either pretend or genuinely don't know what the people really need.
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