Thursday, August 18, 2011

Page accuses Putrajaya of ‘buying time’, wants English-language option restored

The MalaysianInsider News, August 17, 2011 By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (Page) wants Putrajaya to restore ‘teaching science and maths in English’ option before it kicks off a new policy next year.
Its vice-chairman, Sulaiman Mahran, ticked off Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for saying the Education Ministry will study further the possibility of using two languages to teach the two subjects in national schools, as reported by state news agency Bernama yesterday.
“It’s only buying time until 2012 when the MBMMBI will be fully implemented,” Sulaiman said in a statement, referring to the “Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English” policy that is to take over the existing language policy for science and maths (PPSMI).
The English-language lobbyist pointed out that the long-term advantages of English had been identified during the Mahathir administration but that its implementation was miscarried during the Abdullah administration.
“Datuk Seri Najib’s administration should repair its implementation, not dismantle it,
“What should be studied deeper is MBMMBI, which is clearly defective because it reduces the students’ exposure to English by 50 per cent,” Sulaiman said.
Prior to the Sarawak polls on April 16, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also announced he would consider using dual languages as the medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science in schools.
PPSMI was first introduced in 2003 but the Education Ministry decided last year to stop it by 2012 after consulting with teachers and parents around the country.
In the uproar that followed after PPSMI was abolished, Putrajaya introduced MBMMBI, which will see the teaching of Mathematics and Science revert to Bahasa Malaysia from 2012 while more contact hours for English would be offered in order to improve students’ skills in the language.
In May The Malaysian Insider reported that the Najib administration had not decided on switching back to English for Science and Mathematics (PPSMI) because several Cabinet ministers felt any change would be another embarrassing flip-flop.
The Education Ministry has also announced it would hire 10,000 teachers to teach English in local schools.
Najib has also got a promise from the United States to send Peace Corps volunteers to teach the language in the country.

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