[lg policy] Malaysia: Applying the wrong medication - Mohammad Syazwannuddin

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 2 16:46:53 UTC 2013

Applying the wrong medication - Mohammad Syazwannuddin

*December 02, 2013*

The problems with PPSMI (the teaching and learning of Science and
Mathematics in English) are still brought to the fore whenever someone
influential raises it up.

Since its inception in 2002 and eventual cancellation in 2009, many
organisations and individuals stand to either object or support the policy.
This policy had a big impact on students, teachers, parents, school
administrators and policymakers.

Many student organisations such as Persatuan Kebangsaan Pelajar Islam
Malaysia (PKPIM) had been in contact with students and teachers affected by
this policy.

It is no secret that the Education Ministry is not ready to implement this
policy because students and teachers themselves are not ready, that is the
main reason why PPSMI is being cancelled and replaced with MBMMBI (to
uphold Bahasa Malaysia and to strengthened the English Language) policy.

Then, why are there voices demanding to return to the PPSMI policy? Even
worse, some suggested that the education system should revert to schools
only teaching in English instead of Bahasa Malaysia. This suggestion will
divide our Malaysian society even further.

We must remember that the reason for PPSMI is to enhance the students'
English speaking and writing skills.

Ministry thought that by teaching Science and Mathematics in English, the
students' fluency in English will improve. They thought wrong and it had
been highlighted by many academicians in the fields of language and

The policy not only effecting the English Language subject, but also the
Science and Mathematics subjects. Many students lose interest in subjects
they don't understand, others lose respect for their teachers who
themselves cannot speak English properly. But still, the fluency in English
that is expected to be materialised is yet to be achieved.

Instead of stressing to learn Science and Mathematics in English, why not
strive to improve our own learning of English? If the problem is in the
teaching of English, solve it by making sure the teachers reach a high
standard in education.

Always make sure they are equipped with good facilities to help them
educate students. Students themselves must always be nurtured to love
English, and not to view it as a difficult subject that is only taken to
pass public exams.

Giving the wrong medication for the wrong disease will make a patient even
more sick. That is what is happening when PPSMI was implemented. English is
seen as a burden and an enemy to the students.

Learning the language should be voluntary and not forced. Lots of
improvement can be made if we focus on how to teach instead of continuing
debating these policies.

The voices of majority should be respected which is to respect Bahasa
Malaysia as a language of communication. At the same time, we demand that
teaching English should be focused on gettingthe students to like the
language instead of just trying to get an 'A' in the subject. -- December
2, 2013.


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