THE Education Ministry will use the results of the 2008 Primary School Achievement Test (UPSR) as the benchmark to determine the policy on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in the English language.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail said the ministry was conducting a study of 2008 UPSR pupils who had been taught the two subjects in English since 2003.
“The study also involves all the (relevant) teachers and schools throughout the country, and the test results will become the benchmark for the policy on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English,” he told reporters after a visit to Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pandan Indah in Kuala Lumpur last Monday, to evaluate the progress and the teaching of the two subjects in English.
Razali said the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English was not aimed at studying and mastering the language, but to understand Science and Mathematics concepts in English.
Asked about the opposition of certain quarters to the teaching of the two subjects in English, he said it was not the purpose of the policy to negate the importance of the Malay language, but to ensure that the children could compete up to the global level.
He said teachers of the two subjects in English were found to be more confident of using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as teaching aids.
He added that 90% of students in matriculation centres throughout the country were able to master English and could opt to answer examination questions in that language.
SMK Pandan Indah head of Science and Mathematics education, Datin Rohayah Ab Rahman, said the teaching of the two subjects in English had resulted in 91.4% of the students achieving a pass in Science in the 2006 Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination compared to 89.5% in the previous year, when the subject was taught in Malay.
“In the 2007 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination, 92% of the students had a pass in Science compared to 88.8% in the previous year when the subject was taught in Malay,” Rohayah said.
The school principal, Zakiah Md Lassim, said it would be inappropriate to discontinue teaching Science and Mathematics in English.
This was because much of today’s transactions in banking and commerce were conducted in English. – BERNAMA
The Star Online: 22 Jun 2008