Sarawak’s push for English usage in Science, Maths correct — NGO

Datuk John Lau Pang Heng

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KUCHING, May 30: Sarawak Patriots Association (SPA) fully supports the Sarawak government’s decision to implement the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English starting with Primary One next year.

In congratulating the state government for maintaining the teaching of Maths and Science using Mandarin for Chinese medium primary schools, SPA chairman Datuk John Lau Pang Heng also applauded the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led government for allowing parents to have a say on this matter.

“The Sarawak government listens to the voices on the ground. That’s the type of government Sarawakians would like to see in the coming years.

“Many reference books are written in English, and when Sarawakians are fluent in English, they can read more to gain more knowledge to absorb the truth of life,” Lau opined in a press statement today.

In a recent SPA’s survey of 6,000 respondents, with a 95.9 per cent response rate, 93.1 per cent of the respondents supported the use of English as a medium of instructions in Sarawak Schools.

A total of 94.5 per cent of the respondents supported the use of English as a medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science subjects.

Lau said the people’s voice has been heard by the state government.

“In a recent press conference, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said graduates are not able to get employment in the private sector because the majority of the private sector uses English as the means of business communication.

“SPA prays that with the implementation of the teaching of Maths and Science in English, the issue of graduates working in private companies can be solved,” he said.

SPA is also confident that Sarawak will have enough teachers to teach Maths and Science in English.

It called upon detractors not to derail the Sarawak government’s efforts to encourage Sarawakians to be multilingual.

Giving an example, Lau said Singapore is a great example of excellence in education, and Singaporeans are multilingual.

“Previously, the population in China hardly can communicate in English, but we can see many young Chinese there speak profound English now.

“When Sarawakians are fluent in English, we can compete globally because education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.

“As Martin Luther King said, ‘Education is to teach one to think intensively and critically. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education’,” he said.

To SPA’s understanding, Lau said the majority of international business communication employs English, followed by Mandarin and French.

Therefore, SPA calls upon every Sarawakian to work with the government to propel Sarawak to the next level of educational excellence. — DayakDaily