Sunday February 17, 2013
Thanks for the memories, RTM
I WAS pleasantly reminded of my many childhood memories when I read the article on RTM. And thank goodness, Ann Marie Chandy (Star2, Terrestrial TV tales, Sunday, February 3, 2013) reminded me of one of my favourite television shows in the 80’s, 3-2-1 con-tact!
I was so happy that I immediately did what a netizen of today’s world would do – google it.
When the clip played, my ageing neurons suddenly all came into “contact” and a brainscan at that moment would definitely have shown them glowing with glee.
Now, I have the very familiar theme song stuck in my head. This was definitely one of the shows that I hardly missed, and one that triggered my love for science and the engineering world.
And just when I thought I was a dinasour whose present mind is permanently stocked with the wonders of yesteryear, I found out that my other half grew up watching The Electric Company.
So there, another RTM programme-fed-kid whose command of the English language is impressive, thanks to these programmes, of course.
Tuning in to RTM was the only way to watch such shows, as we didn’t have Youtube to tap and watch any episode we fancy!
Besides that, locally produced programmes under Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan or BTP, which aired specific subjects for each particular primary and secondary school year, were a great assistance in our studies.
For the morning school students, we could watch slots for English Year 4, for example, in the afternoon while our afternoon school counterparts could watch them in the morning.
I followed these programmes quite diligently, always eager to look at the way they presented the school syllabus in an exciting way.
The black and white versions were simply classic in its way of presentation. I remember vividly of a mathematics teacher sitting and reading out instructions, while the camera alternated this with a view of the solution being worked out in a clear and very easily comprehendable manner.
At the end of the show, she posed a mind teaser about guessing a person’s age from a set of clues. I couldn’t figure them out, so I waited patiently for the next episode for the solution, but it was never discussed. It remains a dusty, unsolved memory in my mind till today!
The more “modern” versions came in colour, with a more fun and easygoing approach, showing how the knowledge is applied on a daily basis.
I must say that these shows helped me in my studies tremendously, at a time when tuition was hardly popular for non-UPSR/SRP/SPM students. The teachers, too, used these as a learning aid by playing pre-recorded videos (on the ever delightful video cassette) in the Bilik Tayangan.
The same goes for many educational, school syllabus-based shows on the radio which the teacher would let us listen to in our classes.
RTM certainly made a powerful impact on its loyal viewers for so many years before private television stations, and later, paid TV stations took the television world by storm.
Nevertheless, there are many, many people out there who still surf through the RTM channels, and I am one of them. It’s just difficult not to do so for someone who grew up on its shows.
And now, I am all the more excited to learn that RTM is taking a big step towards revolutinising its shows.
It’s only appropriate then, for Star2 to bring back the “Intisari Rancangan” as it used to do all these years. There’s nothing like a “newspaper fight” at home to see who gets to read the tv schedules first, so we don’t miss anything exciting!
I really hope that Star2 will again provide us with a comprehensive TV schedule for ALL free-to-air channels, and a few pick-of-the-day suggestions. Please let us make the final choice from the list, instead of having to choose from what the reviewer thinks is a good watch.
As the Aerosmith song goes, “I don’t wanna miss a thing” on the brand new RTM!
Shamsun Nisha Shahul Hamid
Subang Jaya, Selangor