Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Deteriorating English Standards

The government is, of course, in perpetual denial but certainly, the standard of English in this country has dramatically declined. 

Elder statesman, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (left) lamented Malaysia's present low ranking in international education indices as confirming what most people knew – that the country has backslid and this deterioration was signposted by our execrable standards in the language. He linked the return of English proficiency among Malaysians – he mentioned bumiputeras in particular because he was speaking at the convocation ceremony of Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on Saturday – to a rejuvenation of the education system in the country. 

We forget or maybe we choose to forget that English is an international language. 

Tengku Razaleigh pointedly said that failure to master this global currency inevitably locates Malaysians – more so, the bumiputeras – among the bottom-ranked in most gauges of socio-economic development. And yet, the Education Minister simplemindedly believes that insofar as world-class education standards go, we are already sitting on top of the world! Some Malaysians are just born stupid! 

Last Thursday, Sunway University Toastmasters Club had their regular meeting and it was full house! At least seventy members and guests flocked to Room 3-4 at the university and we even had to re-order food to cater to this extra large assembly of people. We, of course, had a menu of good speeches and evaluations and overall, I am very pleased with the quality of the meeting. BTW, I took up the role of General Evaluator and I had only nice words to say. Really. I would score this meeting an 8 over 10. 

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