Malaysia: Yes please persevere

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Thu Sep 18 14:21:05 UTC 2008

Yes please persevere

There were calls lately from some quarters to have the Mathematics and
Science subject to be taught in the National Language in response to
the fact that many students in the rural area were lagging behind in
the two subjects. Of course there is no question that Bahasa remain as
the official language. There is no dispute about that.  Let Science
and Mathematics be taught in the English Language if we want to retain
our competitive edge. It will be wise if we can maintain the status
quo. As the rest of the other subjects remain to be taught in Bahasa,
there is no argument that it will be scaled down in importance. We
need to move with times. English as a second language should be given
emphasis because of its wide usage in this globalised world.

Our current graduates' inability to communicate in English has caused
many to lose their employability in the working world. They do not
have the versatility that older generations enjoyed. A good command of
the English Language will be an added advantage when they venture
overseas to study in top universities in the States, United Kingdom,
and Australia. Do not because of dim sight our children are faced with
a handicap in later life. English Language is the lingua franca of
international business, on the international political front and in
education worldwide. Almost 80% of any references that one search
online are also in this language.

Let our children carry on learning the Sciences in the English
Language. As for those in the rural areas who find it a struggle to
learn the English Language,appropriate measures have to be taken to
address the problem. It will be a disaster if we backtrack on the
policy of learning the Sciences in the language. Already so much
finances has been poured into the project when the policy took flight.
Millions have been spent to print science and mathematics text in the
English Language. Teaching aids in the form of laptops and CDs have
been supplied to schools. It is all up to the will of the teachers to
equip themselves and upgrade their proficiency. After all, they have
been given incentives to teach the subjects. They must will themselves
morally to do the best for our children. All these will go down the
drain if the government makes a U turn.

Stop the flip flop on this policy. A policy needs a time frame for the
actualization of its objectives. Along the way one can expect kinks
and rough patches as with most projects in its initial stages. We do
not give up. We persist in making the policy a success. The will and
the resolve of all parties, of all stakeholders must be there
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