An English Teacher's Response To Berita Harian's "70 Peratus Guru BI Tak Fasih"

Here's the article I'm responding to.
If you haven't read the article from Berita Harian, you can read it here.
A lot of people have asked me for my opinion on this & so let me make an official one here.
Also, take note that it was mentioned by a minister who wanted to advice teachers on beefing up their English proficiency during an event for students.
Why talk about teachers at an event for students? I will never know.
Anyway, I usually take anything a politician says with a pinch of salt (both opposition & government). I think you should too.


An earlier article about the CPT results. Might not be the earliest.
I don't know what the fuss is all about. This is actually old news.
Those of you who have been with me on my FB Page would have read my numerous comments about CPT & read my CPT guide.
Also, do take note that The Star reported that the number of English teachers who were not proficient was 2/3 of the 70,000 who took the test.
Not 70%. 2/3 is more like 66.66%.
A little too far to round up to 70%, no? But, it has achieved it's intended shock effect.

UPDATE 20/6/2013: I just realised that there have been ongoing tests since then so the statistics might have changed since the article from The Star.


Here's another Berita Harian Article with actual numbers.
According to the Berita Harian article above, out of 70k English language teachers in Malaysia, 33k are non-optionists.
That means 33k English teachers are not actually English teachers. They are teachers trained to teach BM, Sejarah, Japanese, PJK, Science, Math, etc. I suspect that the bulk of failures came from these non-optionists.
Can we really blame a BM teacher for failing a BI test? No.
Can we blame a BM teacher for not being able to teach BI well? No.


Non-Optionists/Total of English L Teachers = Percentage of Non-Optionists
33,000/70,000 = 47%

Non-optionists are only 47% of the teachers teaching BI. A total of 67% failed CPT. What about the other 20%?
OH SNAP!! They must have come from the optionists themselves! What are the numbers?

20% X Total English Language Teachers = Total of Failing English Optionists
20% X 70,000 = 14,000

14k out of 37k English Optionists failed CPT! That is a big amount! The percentage?

Total of Failing English Optionists/Total of English Optionists = Percentage of Failing Optionists
14,000/37,000 = 38%

38% of English Language Optionists failed CPT!! That's 2 out of 5 English Optionists!!!

This raises a lot of questions about the recruitment & vetting of prospective English teachers.
Don't we have plenty of interviews before teachers are confirmed? Why weren't they weeded out then? What about during their tertiary years?

Also, what have they done to retain talented English teachers?
I know many talented ones who have left for greener pastures. I dread to think about what is left behind after the best have left.
Actually, they left me behind... so... I must be... =(


The CPT results have been out for nearly a year now & ALL the teachers who took it, have NO idea how they did. Personal results were kept secret for unknown reasons. Apparently, only high ranking officers in the Education Ministry have access to the results.
I don't think it's much of a secret now, is it? Why not let us know how we did personally?

If I knew that I did badly, I'd work on it just like the minister in this article advised.
Since I don't know how I did, I might as well consider myself one of the 3,000 CPT high-achievers, which, of course, I obviously am.

I guess teachers can't be trusted so we'll just wait for the man to call us up for the Pro-ELT course & use up the precious time we could be spending on more meaningful school work or, a personal favourite, REST.
The teachers called up for these courses would be the only ones with the privilege of finding out their results because only those in the B Band would be called for this course.

For those of us in the C & A Bands, I guess we'll keep on guessing & strutting into class like a boss.

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