Switch to English next year?

Pupils from Sekolah Kebangsaan Paon Temaga Lundu, Sarawak learning English. The state is considering introducing English as a medium of instruction for Maths and Science next year. — Bernama

SIBU: Sarawak may start using English as the medium of instruction to teach Mathematics and Science in schools from Jan 1 next year.

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said this, however, would only happen if the teachers are ready and the state had enough budget.

Speaking after the launching of the state-level Gerakan Massa’s “Terima Kasih Cikgu” programme held in conjunction with the Teacher’s Day celebration at Mydin Petra Jaya supermarket in Kuching, he said

The biggest challenge in the move was to consider when and where it should start the implementation.

“We will also have to decide whether the implementation will start from Year 1, Year 2 or Form 1,” he added.

Manyin said the move to teach Mathematics and Science in English was in line with the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s wish to promote English.

Subsequently, Education Minister Maszlee Malik announced in April that Sarawak will be the first state in the country to teach Mathematics and Science in English in its primary schools.

“The Education Department also has to identify the number of teachers available who are able to teach the two subjects in English. Next, we have to identify the materials required for this implementation,” said Manyin.

He added a budget needs to be allocated to train the teachers.

Manyin also called on all parents and teachers to support it to ensure the success of the programme.

“We cannot afford to fail as we are the first state and role model for other states to follow our move. I believe that we can do this as long as Mathematics and Science teachers are well trained to enhance their English proficiency. We are not teaching them grammar but rather teaching them the techniques and boosting their confidence to teach in English,” he said.

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