Sunday, October 12, 2008

Science and Mathematics - English or Malay

The controversy surrounding the teaching of maths and science whether in BM or English AMONG the politicians have baffled many thinking Rakyat particularly when one begins to consider the reasons advanced by them. It is indisputable that Bahasa Malaysia is the national language. However, to advance the reason that the teaching of maths and science should be in BM simply because it is the national language is baffling and appears inappropriate.

Secondly, it is even more baffling that the education ministry should be flip-flopping between one policy and another that concerns education. It begs the question: have they not done an in depth study on the matter before? How in the world did they come up with the policy to teach in English earlier?

The other point that baffles me is: is the issue one of education or politics? I ask this question because often times it appears to smell political and that too, dubiously.

I have heard reasons being cited that many students are unable to cope with the subjects in english. Hmm... carbon dioxide is more difficult than karbon dioksida? I can go on but I believe you get the idea. They also say that if it is to improve the English language, then just teach English. Is that a rational basis for teaching the subject in English? What about the more important fact of the references?

My little survey of the issue over the past few years talking to teachers and headmasters seem to suggest that the main obstacle is the quality of the teachers. Apparently, many have not been sufficiently retrained to do the teaching when the switch took place.

It absolutely worries me that even when it comes to education, incompetency of the politicians in these areas rears its ugly head at the expense of the school children and the Nation's future.

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