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Sunday September 8, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Sunday September 8, 2013 MYT 7:07:37 AM
PETALING JAYA: Increasing contact hours of English alone will not help students to be proficient in the language, said an expert.
What needed to be changed was the approach towards the teaching of English in schools, said Malaysian English Language Teaching Association (Melta) president Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam.
“We have to look at the current curriculum and methodology. The scenario is going to be the same if the curriculum and methodology remain unchanged,” he said. “How then can we hope to improve the English proficiency of students?”
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the number of the contact hours would be increased during the launch of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 on Friday.
He suggested that single-session schools extend the schooling hours to accommodate English lessons.
Currently, a total of 200 minutes (five periods) is allocated for English in national secondary schools.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, added that English would become a must-pass subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination in 2016.
Bahasa Malaysia and History are currently the must-pass subjects in SPM. Around 23% of the students failed English in last year’s SPM.
Dr Ganakumaran said the number of students who failed English formed a rather large percentage.
He was sceptical that teachers and students were prepared to catch up in order to pass the subject by 2016.
“Three years is an extremely short period for students who are in Form Two now to improve their English tremendously,” he said.
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Education, Malaysia Education Blueprint
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