If this were the solution, why do our young generation of today also have problem conversing and writing in a standard Malay language? This is despite Malay being the medium of instruction.
I believe that our curriculum now is too rigid and is only exam focused, and lacks opportunities for the students to develop their language skills intellectually and creatively.
Learning may be too didactic and with little room provided for interactive class discussion, as teachers are often pressed to finish their syllabus for exams.
If students are only expected to answer yes/no or regurgitate the exact words from the text book, how can we expect them to construct an intelligent essay?
The rest of the subjects also have the same problems, as we can see that students entering university lack understanding in many basic concepts of arithmetic, biology, chemistry, etc.
Our whole education system is very sick and needs long-term rehabilitation. The list of illnesses is getting longer. Language mastery is just one tick box.
How about extra private tuition, which is no longer a support system but a necessity since kindergarten? How about illiteracy, which still plagues some 17-year-olds in Malaysia? How about the neck breaking weight of their school bag?
It is time to seriously review our education system holistically.
Dr ASRUL A. SHAFIE, George Town.
Source: The STAR News Opinion Tuesday August 9, 2011