Cabinet committee to decide on PPSMI


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 06 Feb 2020

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has not made a concrete decision yet on the teaching of Maths and Science in English.

Prime Minister and acting Education Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said a Cabinet committee had been set up to study the proposal.

He said the public, media, teachers, parents and students were welcome to give their input.

"The decision is delayed, as there are some people who are opposed to teaching the subjects in English," he said, adding that a decision would be made "as soon as possible" by the Cabinet.

He said among the public, there are strong proponents for the teaching of science and maths in Bahasa Melayu (BM), and also for English.

"We are still considering it. We will have to wait and see whether we have the Teaching and Learning of Science and Maths in English policy (or better known by its Malay acronym, PPSMI) or whether we teach purely in BM.

If we teach in the national language, these subjects would be taught in Mandarin and Tamil in vernacular schools.

"So there would be no discussion or debate among the students.

"If we use BM across the board, it will not be accepted," he said.

He was speaking to a press conference after addressing ministry staff at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) here Thursday (Feb 6).

He said the Dual Language Programme (DLP), which allows selected schools to teach Maths and Science in English, would carry on.

"Currently they can choose whether they want to be taught in English or BM, but this has not yielded the right kind of results.

"It is important that they learn Maths and Science in English because everyday we are coming up with new words coined in English."

On Jan 30, Dr Mahathir said English would again be used to teach Maths and Science.

A video of his address during a special meeting with Education Ministry management officials was uploaded on social media.

In 2003, under Dr Mahathir's first tenure as prime minister, PPSMI was introduced in phases, beginning with Year One, Form One and Lower Six students.

"Yes, I caused Science and Maths to be taught in English and I am still of the view that it should be. Otherwise, we will be left behind."

The reversal of the PPSMI policy was made in 2009 "based on what's best for the people and country as the ministry has enough data on its implementation, outcome and assessment", the ministry said then.

In 2011, it was announced that students who have started learning Science and Maths in English would continue to do so until they completed their studies in Form Five.

The PPSMI was completely abolished in 2013.

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