In the recent PMR results, we are already witnessing the decreased of passes in Bahasa Melayu. Compared to 2004, the percentage of passing rate dropped 0.9% to 92.3% in 2005. As for English subject, the percentage increased by 3.7% to 73.8% this year.
However, the statistics is not convincing enough to prove the declining standard of Bahasa Malaysia or improvement in English language. This is because 73% of students still answered Mathematics exam questions in Bahasa Malaysia while 67% did so for Science. It is not a surprise because this batch of students has strong foundation in Bahasa Malaysia.
On the other hand, I foresee that the quality of Bahasa Malaysia among the primary students, especially non-native speakers, will continue to decline in the near future. This batch of students has no exposure to Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia in both primary and secondary levels. Hence, this is a disadvantage to them especially when it comes to understanding and writing science-related topics.
Like any other languages, students need continuous exposure and practices to improve their skills in Bahasa Malaysia, too. Therefore, parents need to encourage their children to read more, constantly monitor their progresses and seek help if their children are weak in the subject.
Related post: non-Malay students must take bahasa Melayu seriously