English classes for 15,000 teachers

Priority on education: Chong ‘signing off’ on the Yes, You Can campaign at the launch. Looking on are (from left) Eric, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Head of School Dr Ganakumaran Subramaniam and SJK (C) Choong Wen headmaster Wong Shee Fatt.

KUALA LUMPUR: The 15,000 English teachers, who were found ill-equipped to teach the subject, have been sent for training, said Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon.

“We have been sending these teachers for training since 2013,” said Chong, referring to the Professional Upskilling of English Language Teachers (Pro-ELT) programme.

Teachers who failed to obtain the desired scores in the Cambridge Placement Test and British Council’s Aptis English test, he said, would be sent to training for six months.

Teachers who still failed the tests after training would not be allowed to teach the subject anymore, said Chong.

He was responding to a statement by Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan, who was quoted as saying that there were 15,000 teachers in the country who were found ill-equipped to teach English.

Kamalanathan had cited this as the reason why plans for a compulsory pass in English for the SPM examination in 2016 had to be postponed.

To help boost proficiency among teachers, Chong said it was also carrying out the Native Speaker Programme, which saw mentors with a native grasp of English going into classrooms and helping teachers learn creative techniques in teaching.

Acknowledging that the country’s English proficiency had been steadily declining for the past few decades, Chong said the ministry was taking the matter “very seriously” and would “face it head on”.

“I believe we need better policies as well as strategic action to rectify them,” he told reporters after launching Erican Education Group’s Yes, You Can campaign yesterday.

As a result of the sliding proficiency, the ministry, he said, had reversed its policy to teach Mathematics and Science in English in 2012.

“Schools are given more freedom now. Those which are ready, can choose to teach in English. My final wish is to see all schools adopting the English medium (for teaching Science and Mathematics),” he said.

Erican Education Group founder Datuk Eric Chong said it would be giving RM1mil worth of scholarships to 500 financially deprived students via its Yes, You Can Campaign this year.

The campaign will also be offering free workshops to 10,000 student from both primary and secondary schools throughout the nation.

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Education , chong sin woon , upskill , teachers , english , 15000


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