Give Year One pupils option, too

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 10 Nov 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) and Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) thank the Government for listening to the voices of parents and hope that the Government will consider giving an option to Year One pupils, who have started learning Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia this year, to study the subjects in English.

PAGE chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said this would enable the pupils to understand and use scientific terms in English.

“We hope the policy will continue as the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) is not about language pro-ficiency but gaining knowledge on Science and Mathematics through English,” she said in a joint press conference with JMM.

This year’s Year One pupils, who were the first batch to study the two subjects in Bahasa Malaysia since the reversal of the policy in 2009, should not be excluded from having the option, she said.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced last Friday that students who have started studying Science and Mathema-tics under PPSMI should continue to do so until they complete their studies in Form Five.

Noor Azimah said that both PAGE and JMM would like to thank the Government for listening to the voices of parents on the issue.

JMM president Azwanddin Ham­zah, who was also present, said parents were relieved by the announcement last week.

“Parents have been very anxious as there was uncertainty over the matter,” he said.

Asked what other actions PAGE or JMM could take next, he said both groups hoped to meet with the Prime Minister and his deputy.

“We want them to know that we are willing to work with the Go­­vernment on other issues related to education,” he added.

Noor Azimah said PAGE and JMM would continue to represent the parents.

PAGE and other groups have been appealing to the Education Ministry to consider the option to have PPSMI in schools.

On former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s suggestion that a referendum be held to decide if PPSMI should be continued, she said: “Dr Mahathir is a statesman and if he thinks it’s a good thing, we agree.”

The PPSMI policy was initiated by Dr Mahathir and implemented in phases, beginning with Year One, Form One and Lower Six students in 2003.

It was then announced in 2009 that the Government would reverse the PPSMI policy and revert to Bahasa Malaysia in national schools, and Chinese and Tamil in vernacular schools while more emphasis would be placed on English as a subject.

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