Saturday, September 24, 2011

no language would be eclipsed or even dominated by another

One of the best ideas and possibly the only political one was to urge the government to commit to promoting "coordinate bilingualism" rather than "subordinate bilingualism", such that no language would be eclipsed or even dominated by another. That kind of commitment is essential, especially in a school environment where the ustaz can have a powerful influence on the headmaster’s policy implementation.

To me, that meeting was a sad reflection of what we are a people who are rich but are afraid to cultivate our wealth and let it blossom, and all because of our insecurities. We fear opening our minds so we deny our children access to our vaults. Each time a new education minister comes into office, there will be an attempt at some stock-taking and cursory spring-cleaning, but this is then followed by the same old business as usual. We pay lip service, we opt for eyewashes.

Will this time be different? I much doubt it. So, as has been happening over the years, those who have the means will find ways to improve their English, mostly outside of the school system, and those who don’t will lag behind. And when it comes time for university graduates to attend job interviews, that’s when the difference will be telling. Still, at the end of the day, these will just amount to being mere statistics. It’s the outcome at the elections that matters more.


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no language would be eclipsed or even dominated by another

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