Thursday, September 29, 2011

Maths and Science in English...

Allow pure science subjects to remain in English

MUCH has been written about the English language and PPSMI in recent weeks. Those of us who are against the PPSMI policy reversal by the government, feel as though the unforgiving wheels of time are grinding on, bringing us closer to a catastrophe in the year 2012.
I have a son in Form 3 this year who was in the first batch of students to go through the PPSMI from 1993. After spending his entire science and mathematics education in English, he is going to be in for a shock next year when he finds the textbooks, workbooks and teaching entirely in Bahasa Malaysia.
Yes, the examinations will still be bilingual, promises the Education Ministry. However, they have failed to see that students will have to do exercises and write lab or project reports in the language they are taught in and in the language the textbooks are in.
Being a pure science teacher , I feel it is unfair to make students learn new terms in Bahasa Malaysia when they are in Form 4. There are five major pure science subjects – physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and additional mathematics – and that means a lot of terms!
The argument that the introduction of PPSMI was also drastic holds no water, as two wrongs do not make a right. First of all, it makes no sense for Form 4 pure science students to switch to BM and then switch back to English in Form 6 or any other pre-University course.
The very fact that Form 6 science studies will still be in English shows that the Government concedes the relevance of English in higher studies.
Secondly, it would be easier for students to make the switch to English (once all the Lower Forms have converted to BM) in Form 4. It would not be so taxing on students to learn the terms in English when the pure science subjects are just being introduced rather than having to relearn the terms in Form 6.
I am not asking for much. Just allow pure science studies to remain in English from Form 4. I am sure that thousands like me are hoping and praying that someone in the Education Ministry has the courage and vision to halt our schools’ imminent and sure descent into mediocrity if things go as planned.

The Star, 29 Sept. 2011.

How I wish the Education Ministry is listening to us, parents..
Have a nice day...

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