PAS Bintulu feels plan to teach Science, Maths in English “rushed”

Zharudin Narudin

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KUCHING, May 9: Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) agrees that English is indeed important to master, but they have also raised their concerns on it.

PAS Bintulu chairman Zharudin Narudin was responding to Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong’s announcement that Sarawak would be the first state in Malaysia to carry out the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English in primary schools next year.

He is concerned about the readiness of the parties involved, especially the teachers, to execute the plan according to what is really needed by the students and not “what politicians want”.

“No doubt our teachers are very capable, but is it fair to let them be the victims of this ‘rushed’ plan?” he asked.

If the programme was planned by the ministry and not by some newly elected ministers, Zharudin said PAS was confident the ministry would have organised training for all the affected teachers.

“Even the rakyat are not prepared for this. We just heard about the plan and suddenly it is going to be implemented,” he said in a statement today.

PAS’s second concern is whether the teaching materials could reach the schools well before next year’s school session starts.

Zharudin noted that the Ministry of Education usually planned ahead where textbooks are concerned. Every year, by March, orders for the following year’s textbooks are submitted to the ministry by all schools nationwide.

“We are sure this has to do with the printing process and budget control as well. If Maths and Science are to be taught (in English) in January next year, would all the books be ready by then? The translation has to be done, the printing, the distribution, and we know this has to be done super efficiently.

“Early this year, when the schooling session started, not all Maths and Science books arrived on time. Rationally, to enable schools to operate efficiently as soon as schooling session starts, textbooks should arrive in schools the latest by December,” he said.

PAS’ third concern is whether this implementation had really been thoroughly studied or was it just the aspiration of certain politicians.

Reminding that the teaching of Maths and Science in English is not something new as it was implemented nationwide before, Zharudin said if the programme was successful, it would not have stopped halfway.

“What the rakyat wants is a solid, well-thought out plan. We all know the implementation involves money and worse still we are gambling on our children’s future. Perhaps, what the rakyat wants to see is a proper analysis from past implementation compared to teaching in the Malay language.

“It might even be better to include in the studies why countries that are growing fast in technology like Japan, South Korea and China have been sticking to their own native languages, not only for Maths and Science but also for all subjects,” Zharudin opined.

Another concern is the level of implementation, where Manyin said all the Chinese medium schools (SJKC) would not be affected by the implementation.

“Why is it not carried out for all schools? If the ministry is saying it is vital to learn Maths and Science in English, it is really significant. But why are the SJKCs excluded?” he asked. — DayakDaily