Policy on English being studied

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Tue Mar 29 15:39:43 UTC 2005

>>From the  Daily Express, Sabah, Malaysia

Established since 1963

28 March, 2005
Policy on English being studied

Kuala Lumpur: The Government needs empirical evidence before making any
resolution on the policy of using English language as the medium of
instruction for learning Science and Mathematics in school. Deputy Prime
Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government was studying the
effects of the policy to determine whether the less satisfactory
performance of students now was a temporary phenomenon or more than that.

"If we were to change the medium of instruction for a particular subject,
in this case Science and Mathematics, the implication is very significant.
Now, it's just the first year in terms of results that we receive for
groups who have started using English language for Science and Mathematics
at the examination level. Earlier it was not at the examination level," he
told reporters after the conclusion of the second Malay Education
Congress, here Sunday. He said this when asked to comment on his speech
earlier which, among others, said that the decision on the policy would be
made soon.

He said that so far, the study carried out by the Umno Education Bureau
chaired by him and the Education Ministry had revealed several findings
but it was too early to make any conclusion. "Give us time to study them
in more detail. I also accept the criticism of the congress, don't make ad
hoc decisions. So to resolve whatever problem, don't decide in an ad hoc
manner," he said. Najib pointed out that whatever resolution made by the
bureau and the Education Ministry would be discussed with the Prime
Minister beforehand.

He said the Umno Education Bureau would study the resolution submitted by
the congress which, among others, urged the Government to return to the
policy of using the national language as the medium of instruction for
both subjects. Najib said that whatever decision taken would be for the
interest of the Malay race. - Bernama


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