Sunday, 1 February 2009
We can’t deny the fact that English is the language of the Internet and the global communication language for practically every important aspect of interaction in this era of globalization. Just go to any established and well-known company in Malaysia and you can see for yourselves the importance of English and it being the top qualification for employment. So that, It's important the Malaysian government continue the policy on using English to teach Mathematics and Science (PPSMI).
I am particularly concerned that the government is considering changing the teaching of Mathematics and Science from English to the Bahasa Melayu or mother tongue. I always believed that the government made the right decision to change the teaching of these two subjects to English back in 2003 and we should not make a U-turn now.
Furthermore, with English, you can do research on the Internet to supplement and enhance our knowledge, much more than what you can get from books. More often than not, you will also find up-to-date information on the Internet compared to what the books contain. However, to use this important tool, you need to be well versed in English, not Bahasa Malaysia or Mandarin or Tamil.
Considering the critical shortage of textbooks, journals, and other literature in other languages, teaching the two subjects in English would facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge by our students.Some parties also fear the threat of the erosion of their ethnic roots, culture and customs in this country and they believe that the way to prevent this erosion is by ensuring that schools teach important subjects in their respective mother tongues.
But is this a threat real? Let me be the first to tell you that I am a Malaysian Indian that received primary education in Chinese school. My English is not excellent when further my study to secondary school. Because of that, I had difficulties in my class. All the subjects in primary school were in Mandarin. The subject that only in English is English, there were no any action or effort to allocate extra hours to the subject. This crisis does not happen to me alone. I believe most of the students in Malaysia experienced that. Besides learning Mandarin, of course I did not fail to remember Tamil, my mother tongue.
Emphasis must be given on English, it does not mean that i am not respecting mother tongue as English is realy assisting a lot in the future of Malaysians. Therefore, I call upon all parents who love their children to all rises up and oppose the move to revert to teaching mathematics and science in Bahasa Melayu mother tongue. If you don't fight for this now, I dread to think what will happen to our future generations while the government and these ethnic based groups gamble with our student’s future.