KUALA LUMPUR: There is “something not right” when students are still struggling with the English Language when they enter universities.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said they should have mastered basic English during their time in school.
“When they enter university, English should no longer be a problem and the focus should be on upscaling, polishing and improving their command of the language,” he said.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said students spend up to 19 years learning English.
“I do not know the root of the problem,” he said, adding that it could be due to the quality of teachers and interest of students.
He said Malay, which is the national language, should not be blamed for the standard of English in the country.
Muhyiddin was responding to a question from the floor at a dialogue session on the Malaysian Higher Education Blueprint 2015-2025 here yesterday.
The blueprint aims to give the national higher education system a quantum leap, focusing on 10 core thrusts, including to produce graduates who are all-rounders, holistic and have an entrepreneural mind.
It also includes an action plan to address the challenges of the higher education sector to make Malaysia a global player and a leading education hub at the international level.
In his speech, Muhyiddin said the blueprint must be relevant to keep up with the challenges students faced today.
“The Education Ministry has taken steps to strengthen the higher education system in the country based on its aspirations and needs.
“There is no denying that our local higher learning institutions have succeeded in producing various leaders, professionals and academicians in the past five decades.
“However, in line with current global developments, we need to ask ourselves if the system will be able to withstand the challenges and expectations of the future,” he said.
He said the ministry was open to suggestions from the public on the education system, particularly in the higher education sector, as the feedback, ideas and views of various stakeholders would be taken into account in preparing the blueprint for higher education.