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Tag Archives: Kids

Boys Brigade – Sure and Steadfast

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Nic in his full BB mufti

Both Liz and I decided very early on that we would enroll our sons for the Boys Brigade. Our church already has a chapter and we had heard plenty of positive testimonies from other parents of the benefits of the program.

Nic was initially attracted by the uniform but as he started attending the program, it dawned on him that there was a lot of discipline and drilling involved and he started to resist going. 3 months later, he’s getting a bit better but will still throw the occasional “I don’t like boys brigade” curve ball to try and wheedle his way out of the Saturday program.

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Chinese Schools in Malaysia

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Like the 80% or so of Chinese Malaysians, I send my 7 year old son to a Chinese medium primary school. It’s challenging for us as the amount of Mandarin I read and understand is restricted to a restaurant menu and my wife doesn’t read (or speak) much at all.

What we like  is that although the teachers there are the no-nonsense type, they are also dedicated to their work. My son’s school for example offers additional tuition classes after regular school hours (for a fee of course).  It also provides our kids with an important foundation for Mandarin which we think will be a formidable tool in their future.

What I’m not so thrilled about is the fact that they seem to view English as an afterthought. The level of English taught there seems to be way below the levels of Bahasa Malaysia & Mandarin.  Take a look at my son’s classroom board and tell me that this isn’t so:

The son's homework board

Maybe I’m just biased but while they are already onto 2-syllable traffic terminology in Bahasa, they are still on the single syllable simple stuff in English. Is it just Chinese schools or is our whole Malaysia education system screwed skewed that way??

Whatever it is, it’s convinced us to use English even more at home to make sure our boys don’t lose out!