‘How well are we teaching English?’


PETALING JAYA: There are complaints that students tend to lose interest in Maths and Science subjects when teachers cannot express themselves clearly in English, says the G25 group.

“Students whose parents can afford to give them private tuition in Maths and Science will continue to take an interest in the subjects.

“Those who come from poor families may lose interest in learning Maths and Science if the teachers in their class are not up to par and teach poorly in the language,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The G25, which comprises senior and eminent former civil servants, was responding to a statement by Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek that her ministry had taken steps to improve the skills and capabilities of teachers teaching the English language since the Roadmap for English Language Education in Malaysia (2015-2025) had been drawn up.

Welcoming the minister’s remarks, the G25 said the Education Ministry emphasised training teachers to teach subjects in English through the implementation of the Dual Language Programme (DLP).

“We hope that as the DLP is getting more popular among parents, they will not be disappointed with the teaching standards.

“Teachers must show confidence in using English to teach Maths and Science subjects so that students can follow the lessons and develop an interest in these subjects,” it added.

The Education Ministry, it said, should also table a progress report on the implementation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint from 2013 to 2025 in Parliament, which was developed by the ministry with the assistance of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) that was then part of the Prime Minister’s Office.

“A few GLCs (government-linked companies) got together to set up a Trust Schools programme for them to become models for other schools to follow based on the recommendations of the blueprint.

“The public will be interested to know how well the Trust Schools programme is being replicated among all schools in the education system,” it said.

The 10-year reform plan has the goal of developing young Malaysians into effective and proficient English speakers.

The G25 also urged the Education Ministry to consider using an immersive approach in teaching English in selected centres of learning at school and higher education levels.

“We hope that with its resources, the ministry will continue to strive for improvement in the use of the English language in our education system,” it said.

Private sector employers, said the G25, tended to prioritise job applicants who were easily trainable, and school leavers and graduates competent in English would have an advantage as they could benefit from in-house training programmes and become more productive on the factory floor as well as the corporate office.

“There will be social and racial disparities if only a few among local job seekers can meet the English requirement in job applications, while the shortage would then be filled by importing foreign workers good in the international language,” said the G25.

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