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Posted by admin on July 18 2009 00:01:00
Bloggers in civilised debate
Tuesday, 10 March 2009 10:15am

İNew Straits Times (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR: Unlike Saturday's protest to force the Education Ministry to drop the use of English in the teaching of Science and Mathematics (PPSMI), others have chosen to use civil means to handle the matter.

The blogosphere is abuzz in healthy debate over the issue, with Malaysians taking varied stands and suggesting interesting solutions.
Extended News
Bloggers in civilised debate
Tuesday, 10 March 2009 10:15am

İNew Straits Times (Used by permission)

KUALA LUMPUR: Unlike Saturday's protest to force the Education Ministry to drop the use of English in the teaching of Science and Mathematics (PPSMI), others have chosen to use civil means to handle the matter.

The blogosphere is abuzz in healthy debate over the issue, with Malaysians taking varied stands and suggesting interesting solutions.

At the same time, bodies concerned with the issue, such as the Parent Action Group for Education (Page), are also reaching out to parents and collecting feedback.

Page chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said they have written to the parent-teacher associations of more than 3,000 schools in urban and rural areas. "We've got responses from 2,000 schools and it is interesting to note that 95 per cent of them support the PPSMI."

On Saturday's march, she felt that the protesters' action could be construed as a bid to hold the Education Ministry to ransom.
She said the anti-PPSMI group had been heard and their views duly considered at the roundtable meetings held by the ministry.

"The demonstration is therefore not only a waste of time but goes against the grain of what is Malay culture. The virtues of patience and tolerance are what Malays hold most dear."

She said Page supported the PPSMI as it could prepare the present generation of children for the challenging times ahead.

"We appeal to our nation's decision-makers to leave politics out of educational policies as that will put our children's future at risk."


In the blogosphere, Rasainthiran. M, posting his views on Miclub.com, felt that although the PPSMI issue may look like a Malay problem, it also affected Chinese and Tamil schools.

"Differences are many; but it cannot be denied that English is also the 'scientific' language of the modern world. The big question is how to implement it effectively," he said.

In another blog, dinomum said all parties (government, opposition or non-governmental organisations) must stop politicising the issue.

"I am a mother of two and have no qualms about supporting the continuance of teaching Science and Maths in English. Do you know that if we ever do a search on the Internet for simple Science or Maths terminology, the results are overwhelmingly in English rather than in Bahasa Malaysia?"

Dinomum also said as most other subjects were taught in Bahasa Malaysia, there was no way the national language would be compromised.

Cyrildason.com admitted looking down on those who were impatient over PPSMI. "I honestly think those against PPSMI never felt the hardship of looking up English technical terms in thick heavy dictionaries in university. How it felt to translate every single word at least three times into Bahasa Malaysia, and creating a new sentence to understand a particular technical sentence."

Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam suggested that the government offer the option of using the mother tongue or English in the teaching of Science and Mathematics in primary schools.

"This will give the people a choice and Bahasa Malaysia will strengthen its position and become a language of knowledge."

He also felt there should be a stop to street demonstrations as they did not provide a solution to the issue.

Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye urged the cabinet to allow the PPSMI policy to continue and find means to plug any loopholes in it.

The policy was important in helping the nation find its own place in the global economy, he added.