Maths and Science in English for Sarawak pupils

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 30 May 2019

KUCHING: Sarawak will introduce the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English to Year One pupils starting next year, a move which is earning praises from parents.

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said the programme would involve 1,046 primary schools statewide, except for Chinese-medium schools, which preferred to continue teaching both subjects in Mandarin for now.

A total of 2,657 teachers will be trained to teach both subjects in English, comprising 1,005 Science teachers, 1,275 Mathematics teachers and 377 teachers of both subjects.

“We are not going to make any U-turn. We are going to start the implementation of using English as a medium of instruction for Maths and Science next year.

“We cannot be too ambitious, so we will start with Year One,” he said yesterday.

Manyin said the Education Ministry would come up with a training module for the teachers, which should be ready by the end of August.

He said textbooks for both subjects would be printed by the state, based on the Dual Language Programme textbooks.

The cost of training teachers and printing the materials was estimated to be RM9mil, he added.

“I urge the public, especially parents and community leaders, to support the programme.

“This is good for Sarawak, good for our future and good for our children. This idea is not from us, it’s from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,” he said.

On April 24, while paying a courtesy visit to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik conveyed the Prime Minister’s request for Sarawak to take the lead in teaching Mathematics and Science in English.

Manyin said district education offices would hold dialogues with parents and community leaders, who had doubts about the programme.

“The response is positive. Many parents said they have been waiting for too long.

“Depending on the success of the programme, we may introduce it in Form One in 2021 or 2022,” he said.

Parent Ng Ai Fern supported the move in general but said teaching Mathematics and Science in English should be done throughout the entire education system.

“I think it’s a very good move because a lot of the terms are originally in English. If our children are going to university or study overseas in the future, they will have to start learning in English from young.

“But it has to be consistent throughout the country’s education system.

“There’s no point learning it in English now but when they enter secondary school, both subjects are taught in Bahasa Malaysia for SPM,” said the mother of two.

Another parent Edna Matthew said it was a good move for Sarawak to take the lead.

“Technically speaking, all the terminology is easier to understand in English,” she said.

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