PETALING JAYA: Parti Bersatu Sabah secretary-general Datuk Johnny Mositun (pic) has agreed with Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s suggestion to bring back English-medium government schools to Sabah.
“Over the years the general standard of English has declined, and this has made it difficult for young Malaysians going abroad to train and study in various fields, especially technical subjects,” said Mositun in a statement on Monday.
He added that this meant that these students would lose out when applying for jobs in the service industry and in multinational companies.
Mositun said the proposal by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department would do much to improve the fluency of English used by students in Sabah.
“The re-introduction of English-medium schools will certainly help to reverse the current situation,” he said.
Abdul Rahman proposed on Saturday that English-medium government schools in Sabah be reestablished, starting with a pilot project in selected primary and secondary schools.
“It is a fact that English is the most widely used language in global communications today,” said Mositun, adding that Malaysians would lag behind in areas such as academia and business without English mastery.
He said the state government should emulate Sarawak and formally request the Education Ministry to implement Abdul Rahman’s proposal.
“This is not to say Bahasa Melayu is not important. Malay-medium schools can continue side by side and we could eventually have a dual-language national school system,” he said.
Mositun added that he is also in favour of Sabah recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) qualification for universities and other education institutions.
According to him, the state has many Chinese schools and large numbers of Sabah bumiputra students attend them.
"These schools have played a major role in our state’s education development since colonial days. It would be a good thing if our state government recognised the UEC just as Sarawak has done, and we should petition the Federal Government to do the same," he said.