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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20, 2015:

The nation’s pupils and students, especially those from rural areas, would not lose out if the teaching of science and mathematics was conducted in the English language.

Parent Action Group for Education (Page) President Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the proposal to introduce a system similar to the defunct Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) was also in line with the government’s Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013 – 2025.

She also asserted that the switch in language did not mean that Bahasa Melayu (BM) was not given importance in the current education system.

Noor Azimah was responding to calls for the government to reconsider the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) proposal to introduce the Dual-Language System (DLS), by anti-PPSMI groups who claimed that the move would place the national language in jeapordy.

“As far as this is concerned, most or at least 80% of schooling subjects are taught in BM so why are they (anti-PPSMI groups) being so defensive,” Noor Azimah asked when contacted today.

She said the current education system insisted that usage of other languages in teaching subjects did not exceed more than half of the subject hours in schools.

“Perhaps the postponement of teaching these subjects in English implied that the kids were not up for it which is why there is a need for greater immersion.

“One way to increase (their interest) is to start this as soon as possible,

“Even at the kindergarten level, the syllabus in many places are 50% English and 50% BM which only makes sense if this proportion is continued in primary schools,” she said.

The Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) movement chairman Professor Emeritus Shaharir Mohamad Zain earlier today said Pemandu’s report was not done throughly and merely used the opinions of individuals who favoured PPSMI.

Shaharir said the importance of English in Science and Mathematics should not be equated to the need of the language in the economic, trade, and diplomatic sectors.

National Islamic Students Association Secretary Ahmad Nazrin Shah Abd Rahman, in echoing Shaharir’s stance, said the policy would turn students into “lab rats” if it was reintroduced into the education system, adding that it was irrelevant and burdensome to the current generation.

Noor Azimah said Shaharir, in issuing the statement, was admitting the benefit of teaching the subjects in English.

She said the reintroduction of the dual-language system, if done, would be carried out in stages, so as to ensure a smooth transition of the new policy.

“He is admitting that the use of English is better… stopping (PPSMI) is preventing the children from benefiting from the advantage. They are preventing their own young from benefiting out of their own pure selfishness.

“They must remember that the Blueprint says that pupils should be educated according to the wishes of parents, they have no right to speak for other parents,

“Secondly, they must also remember that one size does not fit all, so if you are talking about science and maths, let the scientists, engineers and doctors make a stand,” she said.

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