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Saturday, July 21, 2012

PPSMI - Start It Early...

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Please read this article till the end (finish). It's interesting and very factual.
Thank you for your time.

Saturday July 21, 2012

Start at primary level

WHILE the panel for the National Education Dialogue deliberates on the feedback obtained from stakeholders via the public and specific target groups and via the private roundtables over the last three months, PAGE feels it opportune that we rationalise our case in appealing for the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English to begin at primary level or even earlier.
It cannot be denied that political parties have a hand in decisions made in education as they did when the Government relaxed on the abolition of the above policy last November.
Political parties are race-based and therefore must appear to support their mother tongue.
Therefore, since there is no one political party that is brave enough to support English as a mother tongue as it would be detrimental to its existence, the responsibility falls on to groups like PAGE (Parents Action Group for Education Malaysia) that have no affiliations.
Whether we like it or not, English has become the mother tongue or home language of many households.
There are also many non-English households that have emphasised the importance of English among their young.
It is not just in schools where English is learnt but at home when the television is turned on, for instance.
The rate of learning English outside of school is phenomenal.
However, this is inadequate as the children need to practise the language in the real world. This has been a downfall of the system.
The fact that the demand for private education at an early age has been overwhelming implies that our children are ready for the transformation.
Sadly, this is available only for small, privileged families.
Psychologists will attest that children absorb knowledge as early as the age of two and their propensity to learn is highest between the ages of four and seven.
Ninety-five percent of adult intelligence is already formed by the time the child turns five with emotional intelligence developing later.
When the policy to teach Science and Mathematics in English was decided by the Umno Supreme Council, the objective was to make Malay graduates more employable.
“As most areas of modern applied knowledge were in English, the council felt that the best option would be Science and Mathematics. Science in particular changes and advances rapidly.
Old knowledge is displaced by new knowledge added almost every day as research is carried out almost all in English. It is quite impossible to have all of this translated into Malay. Failure to gain access to new scientific knowledge would mean we would be left behind.” – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
A strong supporter of this policy was our present Deputy Prime Minister, who is now the Education Minister.
This was subsequently endorsed by the ministerial cabinet and a budget of RM5bil was allocated which clearly indicated the understanding our leaders had of such a science policy and its importance on achieving Vision 2020.
The buzz word now is “transformation” and if the Government is really serious about walking the talk, drastic measures have to be taken with calculated risks.
If the Government decides to pander to the populist view and continue to repeat the same mistakes, then we might as well say goodbye to the glory days of national schools.
DATIN NOOR AZIMAH ABDUL RAHIM
PAGE Chairman
The STAR, 21 July 2012.

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