MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Sunday, December 31, 2023

Teach children to love BM, says expert


The survey by the education ministry found that some students in DLP schools do not have a strong command of Bahasa Melayu.

PETALING JAYA: An education expert suggests the education ministry re-examines the teaching methods for Bahasa Melayu, which currently focuses on examinations rather than fostering enjoyment.

According to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) lecturer Hasnah Toran, this factor might deny students the “joyful instinct” necessary for successful learning, as observed in dual language programme (DLP) schools.

Last week, education minister Fadhlina Sidek revealed that some students in DLP schools did not achieve basic proficiency in Bahasa Melayu and their mother tongue.

Hasnah told FMT: “Perhaps due to the curriculum, teaching BM is not in line with the children’s age and is an approach that denies children the instinct for enjoyment.

“It should be enjoyable, rather than solely exam-oriented. We should also look at whether high values are instilled by schools and parents regarding mastering the mother tongue.”

She said comprehensive research is needed to address this issue, and most importantly, the ministry needs to provide evidence, not just anecdotal data.

“It’s not like we’ve only started teaching the mother tongue in schools for a year. If there are weaknesses, we should have identified them a long time ago. In terms of pedagogy, all our teachers are trained.

“We need to investigate if this relates to deep learning during Covid-19, and also find out if DLP students feel that mastering the mother tongue is no longer essential,” she said.

Meanwhile, Wan Marzuki Wan Jaafar from Universiti Putra Malaysia believes there should be an overarching “balancing” initiative to enhance proficiency in BM and the mother tongue among students in DLP schools.

This includes curriculum updates that are more rapid and responsive to changing needs, encompassing elements that highlight the use of the language in daily life situations.

“Ensure that teachers have strong language skills and are capable of effective teaching through relevant and engaging educational software. Regular training programmes can help enhance their proficiency.

“Organise cultural and sports activities that involve the use of BM. Literary programmes and Malay theatre direction can also be included in school activities,” he said. - FMT

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