Wednesday, 8 July 2009

So the government has reversed its decision. Maths and science will be taught in the national language from 2012 onwards.

Yixian is very passionate about it and thinks that it is a huge mistake.

What do I think?

Yes, English is the global language and mastering it is an advantage. But you have to admit, many Malaysians learn a few other languages and dialects, and are therefore good at none. I do believe that students should learn Maths and Science in English as when they further their studies, it will be very helpful. I was fortunate enough to be taught both subjects in English, and I think as a result, it is easier to understand technical terms when I so happen to read about a health issue, or when I'm watching a documentary.



But our DPM has a point: Our teachers are not proficient in English. And I think it is a good move to improve English proficiency among students. He said that English lessons will be increased, and English literature, grammar and composition subjects will be introduced. Even the number of English teachers will be increased. Now I'm looking forward to see whether he makes English a compulsory subject. Doing so would definitely place an emphasis on English. Right now English is a neglected subject in school. Students and even teachers place more importance on other subjects like Maths and Science. How do you expect a student to be good in English if you suggest that English is of no importance? At the very least, hopefully English will be more important now with the new moves made.

The DPM also said that students fared poorly in Science and Maths in their UPSR examinations when it was taught in English. Here I have to point out that although it did decrease, I don't think that is the only cause. Besides, in urban schools the percentage dropped from 85.1 to 82.5 percent, and in rural schools 83.2 to 79.7 percent. That's not an alarming rate yet, is it? It's still well above 70%! (I didn't make those figures up okay, I got them from Malaysiakini) That's majority of the nation's kids already! You can't just expect everyone to be a genius. And it would help them later on when they're in their secondary and tertiary studies. It also does not help that after the implementation, vernacular schools had found ways around it. I heard that in my primary school, the subjects were taught in Chinese as well as English. So the kids are actually learning everything twice, but in different languages. I think the students would have done better if they learned it in only one language. 2 is just confusing. But then again, incompetent teachers might just use their mother tongue.

So what do I think about it?

I think that first, the Government should make sure that English, Maths and Science teachers are fully competent in English and would not impart false knowledge. Send them to courses, anything that will make the teachers good in English. Then slowly, increase emphasis on English and one day make English a must pass subject for SPM when teachers are good enough. Then teach Maths and Science in English.

Damn. I think I just wrote a discursive essay on my blog.
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