KUALA TERENGGANU: About 5,500 or 27% of students who sat for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination in Terengganu failed the English Language subject.
This was based on statistics by the Terengganu Education Department over the last five years, which showed a worrying trend since English Language was made a compulsory subject to qualify for a pass in the SPM.
However, state education director Zakaria Hussin said efforts were being made to improve proficiency in the language among students through the “Terengganu English” or Trenglish programme with the cooperation of Terengganu Foundation.
He said it would be implemented at 32 selected schools with the appointment of 32 “Terengganu Hired English Language Personnel (T-Help)”, comprising graduates in English Language from local public institutions of higher learning.
The programme would focus on Form 3, 4 and 5 students, he said here yesterday.
Zakaria said the appointment of T-Help was to enhance student participation in the teaching and learning of the English Language, as well as co-curricular activities.
“The difference between T-Help and ETA (English Teaching Assistants) is that T-Help comprises Malaysian graduates who are proficient in English, while ETA are American graduates whose mother tongue is English.
“We need T-Help because it was found that all the 20 ETA teachers are not proficient in Malay and this poses a problem for them to communicate with students in class,” he added. — Bernama