KUCHING, Sept 24: Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan has advised teachers to ‘Gasak aja’ (go all out) and not ‘fret over the Queen’s English’ when teaching Mathematics and Science in English next year.
He echoed the suggestion of Education, Science and Technological Research Minister, Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong, who advised primary school teachers not proficient in teaching Mathematics and Science in English to use “Sarawak English” first, before progressing to use the Queen’s English later.
Sarawak will be the first state in the country to use English as a medium of instruction for Science and Mathematics for all Year One pupils starting January next year, except for Chinese-medium schools which have opted out of the programme.
The move will involve 1,265 primary schools and more than 2,800 teachers.
“Sarawak, especially the education fraternity in general, have never lose touch with English and thus, I am confident in the over 2,800 teachers throughout Sarawak who will be undertaking this task.
“English is a subject from primary school up to college and university. It is widely used in a large spectrum of our society, be it in office, daily conversations, and as the lingua franca in court and trade.
“It is not new to us, so why fret, I am quite confident that our teachers will deliver,” he said in a press release today.
Moreover, with the ongoing support from the Ministry including constant programmes such as the Sarawak English Language Education Symposium (SELES) held in Sibu yesterday, he added that this will provide a fast track impetus to teachers.
“Educators, everyone involved in teaching, as well as parents, should give applaud this move,” he said.
Snowdan encouraged teachers to assume themselves as debaters, delivering a public speech in front of a crowd.
“They may have stage fright, shy and nervous at first. It is normal but as you go along, you will navigate through the predicaments somehow. We have to start somewhere, so it is better late than never.
“Furthermore, we have been calling for the use of English in school all along in pursuant to Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63). So this is the time to start,” he said.
He also suggested acquiring volunteer teachers from Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada or England if necessary.
“This is a long term approach to regain the lost lapse and I believe that our teachers are well equipped to undertake this task. Let’s put our trust on them to see us through,” he said. — DayakDaily