Yes. Another U-turn from our government. This is called my beloved Malaysia. But, this time it involve our students (innocent future voters) who had to bear the uncertainties between studying Science and Maths in English and Bahasa Malaysia (BM). The new education policy was mooted by then Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir in 2003 in order to raise our competitiveness especially in Science matters.
However, everything can be changed and the government said that it had abolished the teaching of Science and Maths in English (PPSMI) citing poor command of English language deter students from excelling in these two subjects. And, the education ministries said that they already consulted all the schools nationwide, and concluded that majority of them doesn't want to continue with PPSMI for the benefits of students.
Why PPSMI failed in Malaysia?
I would said that the only reason is the lack of commitment from Government. If there is not enough qualified English educated teachers, train them or hire them. If the students are not capable, train them or even make the subject compulsory to pass. If we believes that the PPSMI is crucial for our nation to excel, we must not give up after merely few years of trying. Instead, we should find the solutions to the problems we faced. Every changes on policies will be difficult at the beginning, no need to mention education policies. I believe the 54 years old government should know this better.
What is the impact to our economy?
- Credibility of the government had lost. How would foreign countries looking at us? At first, they're happy by the move, but settled with disappointment now.
- Most of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that pouring into R&D and science related industries were westerners. Like it or not, their preferred language is English simply because it is the original language of innovation.
- Poor commanding of English language is one of the main reason why Malaysia losing out to SIngapore in attracting multi-national companies. We can't deny this. Otherwise, we will continue to lose out.
To end this post, let's understand the following statements by Dr. M:
“You never know, the people who are calling for both subjects to be taught in Bahasa Malaysia may be sending their children to English schools”