GP Journal Entry #6
The Straits Times
4 May 2010
"Mother tongue still vital"
The teaching of mother tongue (MT) languages remain a vital feature of Singapore’s education system, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. He issued a brief statement in the wake of strong reactions to Education Minister Ng Eng Hen’s recent comments that the weighting given to MT languages in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) may be cut. Aware that many Singaporeans are concerned about the Government’s plans for the teaching of MT languages in schools and especially at PSLE, Mr Lee said, “Emphasis on MT languages is a vital feature of our education system, and the Government is determined to progressively strengthen and update its teaching and examination.” He also mentioned that issue is currently being studied and that he and Dr Ng would address the concerns raised and set out the Government’s thinking soon.
1. pedagogical – of or relating to pedagogy(teaching, education)
2. bemoan - to express disapproval or regret/distress or grief over; lament
3. inundate – to overwhelm
I feel that the weighting given to MT languages in the PSLE should not be cut. As what Mr Lee has said, MT is still vital. In my opinion, it is important to stay close to our roots and not be detached from the respective races’ unique culture. In cutting the weighting of the MT languages in the PSLE, we are already in a sense, detaching the young from their roots. Having only minimal contact to their MT languages at such a young age, what more would they know of when they grow older? How much more of the MT language and culture would stay with them then? Cutting the weighting at PSLE might also limit the children and hinder their studies in acquiring to be bilingual. With respect to the Chinese language, with China rising over the years, it is important that we prepare our future generations to be effectively bilingual, at least, to be able to...