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PPSMI – Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English – The Dilemma 4 November 2011

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Society , trackback

I support PPSMI as an option, or even PPSMI as a requirement when the school’s medium itself is English!

But to have PPSMI in national or national type schools where the medium is not English is madness. Technical subjects such as Science, Maths, Geography, History,Accounts, Economy, etc etc – must be taught in a language that students can understand them. Teaching technnicals in a language that the students themselves have problems with won’t make them understand the technical subjects much less master the language it being taught in! It might be taught in Klingon and it’ll have the same effect!

My experience – I learnt all these technical subjects at national school in bahasa and when I graduated high school, in college, everything else is in English. I had no problems learning those technicals in English because, after high-school, my English was proficient enough! Thanks to my visionary parents who assisted in my English language education!

It is my opinion that abolishing PPSMI in national and national type schools where the medium is not English is the correct move _BUT_ make it an option, if not possible, then establish English medium schools!

English as a foreign or second language cannot be stressed enough of its importance! English language proficiency and its teaching must be improved – this is what our national education policy is lacking. We are very weak in English language teaching in our national/national-type schools! Improving English must be in form of better teaching – more classes or better methods. Methinks its because we lacked the staff and methods.

Lastly, national identity is also important. One of the key ingredients is of national language. In national schools, this is not an issue. National-type schools, Chinese, Tamil, English (if and when they establish one) should teach our national language, at least to be literate enough to communicate in both written and spoken.

Where do I come from? My Mom was a Malay Language Teacher and my better half is an English Lecturer!

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