Monday, 13 July 2009

English teaching in school

The uncertainty in the education policy caused massive confusion in the field of education and caused general concern among the people especially the parents and students. This only reflects the incapability of the BN government to implement their policy and amplified their attitude of “trail and error”! This is real bad, and the people are pushed into a dilemma and wasted a lot of time and effort, the tax payers’ money had gone down the drain. This is all because the BN had different direction with different leaders.

The recent announcement by the BN government to change the policy on English to teach mathematic and science in schools by 2012, has made many unrest among the people. The whole decision is confusing enough to bring about many complaint, the comments are mixed with good and bad. The people have totally no choice but have to accept the decision, and also being pushed from left and right.

It is true that the government is not certain about how to promote English in the country, but at the same time do not want to forgo Bahasa Malaysia as the Official language. The decision to change back to use mother tongue during primary level and use English in secondary level, is correct, but why wait until 2012. By then the gap will be even bigger, and more difficult to catch up, or may be some new policy will appear. Who is going to suffer?

Dr. Hiew views the way to master the English language is to adopt the following:-

(1) To teach English as a language subject in primary school, while other subjects can be in mother tongue,
(2) to use English as teaching media in bridge class, and
(3) to use English to teach in government aided and private secondary school (SM), while the government national type secondary schools (SMK) can have the choice of using both BM and English language to teach. This provides flexibility for the student and parent to decide on what they want the best and which type of medium they want. The teachers will finally be able to teach in what type of medium based on their language ability for the benefit of the student. The shortage of English teachers will be reduced. This is a “win-win” solution.

We must master the English language, otherwise we will be falling behind time. China had been pushing their 100 million people to learn English, this is to catch up with the advancement of the world development. More MPs had proposed to use English for the Parliament sitting.

Dr. Hiew King Cheu. KK MP.