[lg policy] S. Korea emulating Malaysia by teaching Maths and Science in English

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Sun Jun 14 18:17:55 UTC 2009

S. Korea emulating Malaysia by teaching Maths and Science in English

JOHOR BARU: Many countries have found the debate over the teaching of
Science and Mathematics in English “amusing”, an education group said.

Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) said one
example was South Korea which had emulated Malaysia’s move to teach
Science and Mathematics in English. “They have found the recent
developments over the issue rather amusing as there are statements
made here which make it sound like Malaysia is trying to take a step
back,” said Melta president Dr S. Ganakumaran.

He said the South Korean delegation was here to attend the 18th
International Melta Conference attended by a total of 530 teachers and
lecturers from various private and public educational institutions
from 28 foreign countries. “They have started their pilot project and
are watching Malaysia’s handling of the matter closely,” said Dr
Ganakumaran, adding that based on feedback that he had received, many
Asean countries looked at Malaysia as a frontrunner and were trying to
emulate the country’s education model.

The issue of making English a compulsory subject to pass in SPM was
also widely discussed at the conference and many felt that they were
not trained well to handle the subject. Dr Ganakumaran said that Melta
hoped there would be a detailed study on the matter before any
“Let’s give a fair warning to teachers and children before we
implement anything,” he said.

On the conference, he said the participation was good and their main
aim of having it in Johor was to allow for teachers outside Kuala
Lumpur to also take part. The Star is the media sponsor for the
conference. Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur Deputy Minister in the Prime
Minister’s Department Datuk S.K. Devamany said making English a
must-pass subject would not change the status of Bahasa Malaysia as
the national language.

“The world is going into multi-culturalism and people are speaking and
learning in more than one language. It makes them more marketable and
knowledgeable. “English is important for future development and
knowledge,” he said after attending Windfield International College of
Nursing’s Nurses Day yesterday.



 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com


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