I am expectedly frustrated and perturbed by the recent announcement of the government to drop ETeMS. Honestly, it is rather unfair for a policy implemented in less than 10 years to be assessed and discarded as such. I wonder if the decision has been very much politically motivated as most students have been found to be more comfortable learning in English Language nowadays and I could see that my 10 year old sister's ability to think critically using the language is far superior than mine when I was her age.
In my humble opinion, it was a wise decision to execute the policy back in 2003 even though the government was severely criticised by the general public for taking such a rushed action into place. I am fully aware that we live in a democratic country but do we really have to follow EVERYTHING that the public demands despite the fact that they are not the ones directly involved in the teaching-learning process. Why should we just let everyone be confined within their comfort zone and don't challenge their ability to push their limits? How can we ever be successful in the acquisition of knowledge if we are so reluctant to get over one hurdle? Yes, maybe those in rural areas are at disadvantage but where else is the opportunity for teachers to use the language in various dimensions?
Let me just give you a very simple analogy. If your kid refuses to eat vegetables, what would you do? Just let him get what he wants or do you try to improve the taste/presentation of vegetables to attract his interest and attention towards such healthy food? The detrimental consequence of not eating vegetable is very much the motivation that should encourage parents to force
their kids to adhere to this simple rule. Okay, so he might be fine in his first few years yet in the long run, the nutrients will be undoubtedly essential to the well-being of the kid.
Similarly, the ETeMS policy's success should be easily seen in a few years to come when graduates as well as a breed of fresh Maths/Science teachers who have been mastering the scientific knowledge in English Language from early years joins the work force. We were in the midst of an imperative process and I believe that we were also in the right direction yet due to some voices saying that the darjat of Bahasa Melayu is ridiculed with such an emphasis on English Language hence reflecting that the government as un-Malay, we revert back to a time when we realised that there is a missing link between us and the rest of world players.
The bane of democracy is felt in times like this. Where is Mugabe when you need him?