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Published: Wednesday July 8, 2009 MYT 2:42:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday July 8, 2009 MYT 7:25:08 PM

Math and Science back to Bahasa, mother tongues (Update)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has decided that the medium of instruction for Maths and Science will revert to Bahasa Malaysia in national schools and mother-tongue languages in national-type schools from 2012 onwards.

The reversal of the Teaching of Math and Science in English (PPSMI) policy will be done in stages, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Wednesday.

He however added that there will be greater emphasis on learning the English language.

English literature will be re-introduced, as will subjects on grammar and composition.

Beginning 2012, students in Year One and Year Four in primary schools, and Form One and Form Four in secondary schools, will learn Math and Science in Bahasa Malaysia.

The change will not affect those in Form Six and Matriculation.

The two subjects will be taught in two languages until 2014 for other students, he said.

“The gap between rural and urban students has widened since PPSMI started.

“Only 19.2% of secondary teachers and 9.96% of primary teachers were sufficiently proficient in English,” he said, explaining the Government’s decision to revert to the old system.

On efforts to emphasise the learning of English, the number of English teachers would be increased by 13,933 -- retirees would be hired, as well as foreigners if need be.

Primary schools will also increase English classes by 90 minutes a week.

There have been calls from various groups for the policy to revert to before 2003, when the subjects were taught in Bahasa Malaysia in national schools, and either in Chinese or Tamil in national-type schools.

The issue has seen a rare alliance between Malay and Chinese educationists, who are against the switch, although there are also calls by many parents and entrepreneurs for English to be maintained.

More to come

Statistics on BM and English

Earlier story:
DPM to make announcement on the use of English to teach Mathematics and Science after Cabinet gives its okay

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