Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday September 14, 2011
English pass a must soon
By KAREN CHAPMAN
educate@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The target to make English a compulsory pass at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level is “not very far away”, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

He said this could be possible once there were enough English teachers for the whole country and with a new curriculum in place.

“The ministry is examining and evaluating the issue,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after presenting New Deal incentives to 92 secondary school principals.

A pass in English is not compulsory for SPM.

Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said the ministry was continually reviewing the English curriculum.

“The ministry has added items like grammar and literature to the curriculum as well as ensured there are extra English periods,” he said.

There were also steps such as bringing in 50 Fulbright English teaching assistants who would arrive here early next year, he added.

“We are taking steps to transform the English curriculum and parents cannot expect this to be put in place straight away,” he said.

The transformation might only be seen in two or three years' time, he added.

In his speech, he said the 92 school principals received incentives worth RM690,000 under the New Deal.
Happy faces: Muhyiddin sharing a light moment with the 92 school principals who received incentives under the New Deal.

Under the New Deal, school heads receive certificates and RM7,500 while 5% of the top teachers in the selected schools get RM1,800 with the other teachers receiving RM900 and support staff getting RM500.

At another event, Muhyiddin said those who chose to migrate should not be considered unpatriotic.

“The Malaysian diaspora is an asset to our country. An asset we do not want to alienate but instead, that we would like to cooperate with and entice to return in the future.”

He said Malaysians abroad could also act as ambassadors and promote the country to investors and tourists.

The Government, he said, planned to attract at least 200,000 international students to Malaysia by 2020.

This was expected to generate RM600bil worth of exchange, he said at the Education Nation Conference.

(http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/9/14/nation/9491830&sec=nation)

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