Teaching of maths and science in English a flop
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Neville Spykerman
KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — The teaching of maths and science in English the last six years has not improved the performance of students in those subjects, the education minister admitted today.
“There have been changes but the difference is nominal,” said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said there had only been a two to three per cent change since the policy was implemented in 2003.
The deputy prime minister was responding to a supplementary question by DAP’s Tan Seng Giaw in Parliament.
The Kepong MP said the policy had been in existence for six years and asked for the reports on its effectiveness to be made public.
The education minister also said that the government, after much delay, will make a decision on the issue by next month. It is expected to continue with the programme, while finding ways to accommodate differing views.
Muhyiddin's reply drew flak from opposition MPs, who accused the government of negligence for its refusal to shut the policy down despite admitting to having problems in implementing it.
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad from PAS said it was obvious in the minister's response that the government is not fully prepared for the implementation of the policy and students are being victimised as a result.
"It is apparent that they are not fully prepared for this and have not taken into account the implication and the repercussion," he told a press conference in Parliament.
He added that it was absurd that the government realised the programme's failure only after six years it has been implemented.
"Don't make our children guinea pigs," said Khalid, adding that teaching maths and science in English won't upgrade students' English quality, suggesting that it would be better for the government to focus on getting the best teachers to teach the international language instead.