Minister dismisses PPSMI as non-issue for coming general election

The abolition of Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) starting next year is not an issue for the next coming general election.
Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water, Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui said the cabinet last Friday agreed to allow students in PPSMI cohort to continue learning the subjects in English until Form 5.

“The government’s decision to abolish PPSMI is a non-issue for general election as an alternative option has been given before the full implementation of teaching of the  the subjects in Bahasa Malaysia by 2016 for primary school and 2012 for secondary school,” he said in an interview after officiating at SMK Luak Graduation at Dynasty Hotel yesterday.

Chin, who is also member of parliament for Miri, said this when asked to comment on the PPSMI issue.
He said there is a need for school managements to explain to parents in order for them to get accurate and actual information on the PPSMI issue.

He said it is understandable that most parents are concerned with the scrapping of PPSMI starting next year as it will affect their children, particularly those who are preparing for the UPSR, PMR and SPM examinations.

“Pupils in the PPSMI cohort could opt to either continue learning Science and Mathematics in English or Bahasa Malaysia, or both when they enter Form 1 next year.

“The implementation of the teaching of the two subjects

in Bahasa Malaysia will not disturb pupils already using English. Implementation will start with Year One pupils,” he remarked, adding parents should not worry about the abolition of PPSMI.

He strongly felt teaching the PPSMI cohort is not an effective means to improve the command of English, particularly those in rural areas.

According to a study conducted by Ministry of Education, fewer than five per cent of the total number of classes in 7,495 primary schools used English language fully under PPSMI.

While fewer than nine per cent of the total number of classes in 2,191 schools used the English language in the PPSMI cohort at secondary schools.

The field study also revealed that students found it hard  to understand the two subjects in the English language.He totally agreed effort to improve the proficiency in the English language among the students was not through PPSMI.

“It is because students must have a strong foundation in English language before they can master certain subjects that are written and taught in English,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government would take other initiatives to improve the proficiency of the English language in schools.

They include: Increasing the time for the teaching and learning of English; improving the curriculum for English language under the implementation of the Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR); recruitment of native speakers to raise the capacity of English lecturers and language teachers; and provision of quality supporting materials such as additional reading materials and digital materials to support teaching and learning in the classroom.

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