JJ had her mock exams last week. And this week she's having her final exams. He mommy has been busy, studying very hard for these exams. Yes, no mistake there, Mia herself had to study together with JJ, taking leave from work, trying to figure out the cryptic Chinese characters and all those. I had the opportunity to learn too, though admitedly not at seriously as Mia. I want to share a bit with my readers about what young kids are going through these days in the education system.
First up, of course Mia was overly excited because JJ got only 70% for her maths. I mean, JJ is only in primary 1 for goodness' sakeanything below 80% is a cause for concern! But of course upon further checking, my JJ actually got 88%. Her teacher made a mistake when tallying the final result somehow. Tells a lot about the teacher.
But what I really wanna share here is about her Bahasa Malaysia papers. Although it's only the mock exams, we'd like JJ to be serious in her work. Of all the questions, one caught my attention:
Lee, cikgu suruh _______ susun meja.
And the kids had to choose which of the 3 options is the correct one for the blank.
Perhaps I should come up with something like the above for one of my treasure hunt questions, and I bet the hunters would all faint to choose the correct answer.
The next day, I conducted a little experiment in my office. I actually went around the office and asked some of my staff how they'd answer this question. Of those who participated in my experiment, 7 chose A, 3 chose B, and 2 chose C. Which one would you choose? Bear in mind that based on the number of questions for this paper, the kids probably had no more than a minute to decide their answer for this question.
The majority chose A because they took "kamu" to mean "you". And "you" here can be both "you" as in Lee alone, as well as "you" as in Lee together with some other people with him then. So when translated into English, we can get something like this:
Lee, teacher has instructed you to arrange the tables.
In this case, the person who's speaking to Lee is not involved in the arrangement of the tables. He's merely conveying the message from the teacher to Lee. I think it is a possible scenario. I can't see anything wrong with this choice.
Those who chose B explained that "kita" is a better choice because it means "us", i.e. both Lee and the person who's speaking to him. When translated into English, we can get something like this:
Lee, teacher has instructed us to arrange the tables.
In this second scenario, the person speaking to Lee is telling Lee that both of them have been instructed by the teacher to arrange the tables. Again, I can see nothing wrong with the answer.
Those who chose C thought that this is also a good choice. The person speaking to Lee is merely telling Lee that "they", meaning those other people, but not Lee and the person who's speaking to him, have been instructed to arrange the tables. The sentence, in English, would then be like this:
Lee, teacher has instructed them to arrange the tables.
The person who's speaking to Lee is merely reporting about the teacher's instruction to those other people. Which again makes sense too. But of course one of my staff, Jeffrey, had a slightly different explanationhe said he preferred this third choice because he did not want to get involved in arranging the tables. Jeffrey was trying too hard to be a smart Alec, you see.
So as you can see, after spending far beyond the allocated time for this question, we're quite unsure which is the correct answer. I wonder if the teacher got a bit mixed up between "mock exams" and "mocking the kids". I'm planning to find out from the teacher, and I don't mind to debate with her too. And who knows, if she can come up with an airtight explanation, then I can use the trick in my future treasure hunt clues.