Tuesday, March 17, 2009

All of You Listen to Mee: Re-Introduce English Medium Classes for Science and Mathematics

The above signage was voted No. 1 as the Most Popular Post in http://www.engrish.com/. And as a Malaysian, I am embarrassed.

I guess you would still be able to be rich enough to buy a bungalow, even without a good command of English.

But as the nation progress in this borderless and increasingly competitive world, we should equip our children with the best education so that they would be able to continue to prosper. The least we can continue to do is to enable them to be taught in English in two most critical subjects, science and mathematics.

PPSMI (Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik Dalam Bahasa Inggeris) or the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English has been debated over and over again by educationists, parents, politicians and people at large. Malay politicians from PKR and PAS used the current political undercurrent against Barisan Nasional to gather their supporters to participate in the mass demonstration against PPSMI a couple of weeks ago. Chinese educationists have threatened the government of mass demonstration should the government decides to continue with PPPSMI. The Malays wanted the subjects be taught in Bahasa Malaysia, and the Chinese, in Chinese.

I guess the best time for a child to learn and understand foreign languages would be before the age of eleven years. Understanding Science and Mathematics in English since the primary school would better equip the students when they continue to study the two subjects, also in English, during the secondary school, and later, in colleges and universities. Learning the subjects of Science and Mathematics in English in secondary school should continue to be made mandatory.

I was told that the current “popular” proposal is to revert to teaching Science and Mathematics in the respective mother tongues (Malay, Chinese or Tamil) at the primary school level. According to the “popular” proposal, the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English will only commence at the secondary school level.

I would like to suggest that the government consider looking into possibility of re-introducing English-medium classes, at least for the two subjects of Science and Mathematics, commencing at the primary school level. Parents and students would be able to choose the best medium of instruction for the students in both subjects. The Malays may still have the option to learn the two subjects in Malay or English, and so too the Chinese, either in Chinese or English.

Such re-introduction of English medium classes would also enable the government to gauge the popularity of PPSMI. In my opinion, most parents are actually supportive of PPSMI. The problem lies with those vocal minorities and screwed-up politicians who are against PPSMI.

If English medium classes for Science and Mathematics were re-introduced, those students opting for PPSMI would have better chances in obtaining high competency jobs during their working life. By then, firms would be more receptive in employing English-educated students in their workforce, and it may well be part of their employee selection criteria.

In the end, the success of re-introducing English medium classes for Science and Mathematics will provide proof to the government that PPSMI is indeed a good and correct policy to begin with.


Ahmad Nadzri Bin Muhammad Nasir said...


Tidak salah menggunakan bahasa Inggeris tetapi perlaksanaannya tidak sempurna dan tidak sesuai dilakukan buat masa sekarang.

Jurublog said...

Perlaksanaan yang tidak sempurna tidak boleh dijadikan alasan untuk memberhentikan PPSMI. Kita perlu bertindak cepat untuk memperbaiki perlaksanaan tersebut.

Dalam masa yang sama, memang tidak ada perlaksanaan apa-apa program pun yang sempurna sepenuhnya. Kita perlu terus memperbaiki dan terus memperbaiki.

Tidak ada masa yang akan dianggap sesuai untuk melaksanakan sesuatu. Kita perlu bertindak cepat sebelum ketinggalan ilmu.

Nasirudin Anjud said...

Salam Jurublog,

Tq for the Engrish link.