Poll finds huge support for English as medium of instruction in Sarawak schools

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

KUCHING, May 15: An online survey conducted by Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) shows that 93.1 per cent of the respondents support the use of English as a medium of instruction in Sarawak schools.

On the use of English as a medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science subjects, 94.5 per cent of the respondents gave it a nod.

Meanwhile, 70.3 per cent of the respondents felt that the Ministry of Education has the capacity to implement the teaching of Maths and Science subjects in English, while 19.7 per cent of them felt that the Ministry of Education may not have the capacity. Ten per cent has no comment.

SPA chairman Datuk Lau Pang Heng, in a statement today, said the survey, which focussed on the use of English as a medium of instruction in Sarawak primary schools, was conducted over 60 hours.

About 4,000 respondents were selected by systematic random sampling from its master list of 20,000 WhatsApp users in Sarawak plus 2,000 members from non-government organisations.

The WhatsApp users are from urban and rural areas in Sarawak who are above 18-years-old.

Out of the 6,000 invitations sent to those WhatsApp users, the total responses received as of 12 noon today was 5,753.

“The response rate was 95.9 per cent. SPA only expected to receive 80 per cent responses and the actual responses are 15.9 per cent above expectation,” said Lau.

Following the survey, Lau said SPA supports the government’s initiative of using English as a medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science subjects in Sarawak primary schools.

“SPA feels that it is necessary for the relevant authorities to have the full capacity to have competent teachers teaching Maths and Science subjects in English before the full implementation,” he said.

SPA also congratulated institutions of higher learning for using English as a medium of instruction.

“SPA has learned that UiTM is using English as their medium of instruction, while in other universities, there is a mixture of using English and Bahasa Malaysia.

“SPA would like to ask the Education Ministry if they have any plans to implement English as a medium of instruction in public colleges and public universities,” he said.

Lau stressed on the importance of education as it would groom and equip the leaders of tomorrow in any country.

“Changing policies for the good of our future generation is applauded. But to change from one education system to another needs resources to train the teachers, and print the necessary textbooks and teaching materials,” Lau emphasised. — DayakDaily