From Our Neighbour
Posted by admin on July 18 2009 00:02:00
Give option to choose language, urge parents (asiaone education, Singapore)

Many Malaysians' first language is English, claim parents' group. -NST

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Schools should be given the option to teach Science and Mathematics in English or Bahasa Malaysia, or in one's mother tongue, Parents Action Group for Education (Page) said yesterday.

"There might be some schools which would want to continue teaching in English," said Page chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.

Extended News
Give option to choose language, urge parents (asiaone education, Singapore)

Many Malaysians' first language is English, claim parents' group. -NST

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - Schools should be given the option to teach Science and Mathematics in English or Bahasa Malaysia, or in one's mother tongue, Parents Action Group for Education (Page) said yesterday.

"There might be some schools which would want to continue teaching in English," said Page chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim.

"I think there should be a choice. There are many Ma-laysians whose first language is English," she added.

Noor Azimah said maintaining English as an option would also be a compromise for the people in Sabah and Sarawak, who are not given the choice to learn in their mother tongue.

She said in the long run, the move to revert to teaching the two subjects in Bahasa Malaysia would rob the younger generation of job opportunities.



Malaysian English Language Teaching Association president Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam said the policy of teaching of Maths and Science in English should at least be maintained in secondary schools.

"We could follow the formula practised in Middle Eastern countries such as Oman and Syria. Lessons should be taught in the mother tongue in primary schools and then we can move on to teach Science and Maths in English in secondary school."

He said although he was surprised at the decision, he understood that it was "done out of necessity".

"We were not prepared for the shift to English. We didn't have enough teachers who were trained."

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said more emphasis should be placed on strengthening the teaching and learning of English in schools.

"It is not only about understanding the language itself, but students must also be able to speak and write fluently."

Shamsuddin said without a proper grasp of the language, Malaysia would lose its competitive advantage vis-a-vis other countries.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress secretary-general G. Rajasekaran said the latest decision could lead to confusion.

"The present policy is one way to make students learn English. Fresh graduates today lack good understanding of the language."