In recent years, science and mathematics in primary and secondary schools have been taught in English. This is due to the importance of mastering the two subjects prior to heavy usage of it, not only in Malaysia, but other countries as well. However, on the 9th of July, the Government announced staggering decision to reverse back Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English and revert it to Bahasa Malaysia in national schools and Tamil and Chinese in vernacular school.
Effective 2012, according to The Star, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stressed that there is no political reason involved- abolishing Tun Dr. Mahathir’ vision, but based on objective considerations. He also added that only a small percentage of teachers proficiently used English while teaching the two subjects and by reverting, emphasize will be given for the subject English.
When the change was announced back in 2003, many applaud this bold idea to generate more English literates. It really gave us the big picture of how this can be an advantage for the students who learn the most conversed language. Sadly, not many can pick up this implementation immediately as there were still hurdles to be overcome. The problem of coping, let alone for students from the rural areas.
Meanwhile a 25-year-old man who refused to be identified said that, “Learning Maths & Science in English means enhancing communication, understanding and development of the subject matter at International level. Are we expecting our children to learn Kampung Maths & Science? Learning better English does not amount to abandoning BM so whats the fuss about? Students can still learn BM in any other subjects like the classical Pendidikan Moral & Sejarah so on and so forth.”
On the other hand, Bibi Akhtar, 30, who is currently doing her Ph.D. at Universiti Malaysia Sabah said “Of course it does give an impact towards all, especially children and parents today with that changes because we only think forward and upgrade ourselves which is good but if the changes itself shows that there were more cons in teaching in English, then it’s time for us to stop and think if this really works. I was never taught in English during my primary and secondary school years, yet I don’t think it’s an excuse for me to not learn that language.
The debate is still not over yet because as much as we appreciate our national language which is Bahasa Malaysia, learning and mastering English is still vital in today’s life. The big question is, is that the only way to actually learn English? Are we really out of ideas on how to train our younger generation to speak fluent English?
Indeed there are so many other ways.
Although a lot of people voiced out their disappointments toward this issue, while others take this with positive mind. Nevertheless, let’s just hope that this won’t continuously become an issue because what matters right now is the quality of the education given to the younger generation regardless for better future.