Sunday, July 12, 2009

.: Malaysia's Education System :.

Picture credited to The Star

When the government decided back in 2003 to gradually introduce the use of English in Science and Maths, my initial reaction was - why didn't this happen sooner?
Note : I graduated from highschool in 2002.

But I was still rejoicing nonetheless for the generation after me i.e. my brother and my cousins will be able to enjoy this progress in Malaysia's education system.

From what I understand, the decision to introduce English as the language of instruction for Science and Maths came from the fact that the local graduates have been strongly criticised for their poor command for the language.

But recently, the now Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, has announced that after six years of experimenting, the government has decided to revert back to the old system. The decision was made as there were critics that argued that the use of English has dragged down students' performance and is particularly unfair on children who are not proficient in the language.

"The government is convinced that science and maths need to be taught in a language that will be easily understood by students, which is Bahasa Malaysia in national schools, Mandarin in Chinese schools and Tamil in Tamil schools." cited our DPM.

Our DPM has also said that one main reason for the failure of the old system was the lack of proficiency among teachers, many of whom struggled to hold a conversation in English much less teach in the language, especially in the rural areas.

In the months since this decision, this decision has received many strong critics from various parties - parents, teachers, politicians and even our former Prime Minister - Tun Mahathir.

I too, feels very strongly against the current government's haste decision. It's as if we have took a step forward, only to take three steps back. Just because there are some slight hiccups when reverting to English, this should not be an excuse to change back to the old system. As to the proficiency of language among teachers - how embarrassing it is to admit that the teachers that are to teach this generation, the same generation that are to be the leaders of this country in the future, can't even hold a decent conversation of this international language. In the first place, we should have competent teachers to teach, not just any Tom, Dick or Harry.

On the same note, a recent spoll is being carried out on Tun Mahathir's blog (click here) of which the 66,057 who has voted, 86% are against the government's decision to revert back the teaching of Science and Maths in BM.
The poll is still on, so do your part if you have a say on this matter!

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