‘A Level Bahasa Melayu needs to be reviewed’

National 1 minute, 57 seconds


THE status of A Level subject Bahasa Melayu (9186) has not progressed since it was first introduced in the 1960s and its standings among other subjects needs to be made more prominent, said a Malay language teacher at the third Cluster Six Symposium last week.

The teacher from the Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre was presenting his research “A Level Bahasa Melayu: Problems, Challenges and the Future” which scrutinises the subject at length.

Hj Kula Hj Md Noor said that the syllabus used for the subject is prepared by individual teachers based on past examination questions and relevant books, as there has not been a proper syllabus for the subject since its inception.

“Each school has their own syllabus which makes it difficult to use it as a guideline or reference.”

He stressed, the syllabus used is of course not relevant as it does not take into account current issues, which is why the subject A Level Bahasa Melayu is static.”

Hj Kula argued that it is difficult to update the syllabus because the content and scope of learning of the two papers that make up the subject is conflicting.

The scope of the first paper (BM 9186/1) is really broad and requires students to learn the linguistic foundation of Malay such as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.

Meanwhile, the second paper (BM 9186/2) focuses on Malay Literature, including the history of how the literature evolves from one period to another.

As such, he argued that the subject should be split into two to allow students to focus on an area of study.

“The number of students that excel in the subject is really low, but there are a lot of students that achieve an A grade in either BM 9186/1 or BM 9186/2,” said Hj Kula.

“As a result, out of 63 candidates, only one student achieved an A* and two achieved an A,” he added.

Hj Kula said that the two papers are different field of studies, and offers students the opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of each subject area.

He said that by separating the subject into two, it can help the subject progress by updating it to include Bruneian literature as well as make the subject more significant among students, so that they don’t see it as an elective or a last resort.

The Brunei Times