Malaysia: English policy a success, say parents

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat Feb 14 15:38:40 UTC 2009


English policy a success, say parents
By : Arman Ahmad






KUALA LUMPUR: Using English to teach Mathematics and Science has been a
success, said a parents' group.

They refuted claims by the National Union of Malaysia Muslim Students
(PKPIM) that the policy was detrimental to students' acheivements. Parents
Action Group for Education chairman Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said PKPIM had
misinterpreted the results of the Trends in International Mathematics and
Science Study (TIMSS) 2007, and because of this PKPIM said the policy had
failed. The TIMSS 2007 results were released in December and involved 4,466
Form Two students and 150 teachers in each subject.

The study showed that Malaysia's performance in Maths had dropped from the
10th position in 2003 to 20th in 2007. PKPIM said the study revealed that
Malaysian pupils had done poorly in both subjects compared with other
countries. However, Noor Azimah pointed out that the study focused on
14-year-olds who had not benefited fully from the policy. The conclusion
from the survey, she said, were not entirely representative of the effects
of the English policy.

"They began learning Mathematics and Science in English in Form One. During
their primary years, they learnt the subjects in Malay. If their results
suffered, it is largely because they had to face the transition from Malay
to English." She said the first batch which began learning the two subjects
in English since Primary One would show a marked improvement in their
results. "They will turn 14 in 2010. We should gauge their performance from
the TIMSS 2010."

Rawang Parent Teacher Cooperative Council president Mohamed Saufi Shafie
said the recent UPSR and PMR results were proof of the success of teaching
in English. "Most of the students answered in English, although they were
also given the choice of answering in Malay. Saufi said the Malays,
especially, should embrace the use of the English language to teach Math and
Science. "They should support it, because it is an initiative by the
government to help the Malays get better jobs.

"During the 1960s, we saw many Malays getting professional jobs. There were
two types of streams at the time -- English and Bahasa Malaysia. It was the
Malays from the English stream who were absorbed into important and
professional posts."


http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Saturday/National/2479587/Article/index_html

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