MUCH has been said about this subject. All I have to add is that when the system was first changed from English to Bahasa Malaysia (BM) about 30 years ago the literary environment was only about 10 - 15 % in Bahasa Malaysia.
There were only about three Bahasa Malaysia advertisements over TV, one Malay movie per week, the daily news - warta berita, and limited choice of books, newspapers and magazines in bookshops.
Moreover, there were no financial incentives or anything provided by the Education Ministry (MOE) to ease the teachers and students into the change.
It was only after 30 years that we managed to achieve high proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia in the field of education.
Right now we are flooded with English books, cable television, movies, Internet etc which will certainly help in achieving a high proficiency in English.
The change to English from BM took place six years ago. In my opinion, it’s too early to make an assessment that may result in reverting to BM.
We need more time as the effort and money spent on various programmes by the MOE will only see results within the next five years.
As a JU for PPSMI, I can say that the progress made by teachers who are willing to change their teaching to English has been very good.
A few of them are slow and are not putting enough effort or the financial incentive, BISP, to good use.
The principals and other school adminisrators too should focus more on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.
My students who are from an Ipoh school are all for continuing in English. Let’s give teaching Science and Mathematics in English more time.
The star Online: 19 September 2008