03 Jun '11, 5am

Maid who hung herself: Our reader says it's unfair to make all new maids clear the written English language test.

I READ with great sadness Wednesday's report ('Maid in ICU after trying to hang herself'). The criterion for all new maids to clear the written Foreign Domestic Worker Entry Test is unfair. It takes many years to learn the English language. The majority of maids come from poor communities and do not have the luxury of going to schools to learn English. It should be sufficient for the maids to take an oral test and to be tested on their performance on tasks relevant to their job scope. Basic spoken English should suffice. In comparison, security guards whose jobs are more demanding have to take only an oral test. My maid came from a remote part of Indonesia and spoke no English. However, she now speaks and understands English, even though she has never attended an English class. She was awarded an ITE Skills Certificate in Food Preparation, and the course was conducted in E...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/OnlineStory/STIStory_...

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