Khamis, 11 September 2008

Teaching of science and maths in english: Persevere with policy

By: WAN MOHD HILMI WAN AHMAD, Kuala Terengganu

I WAS truly upset by your reports on the effectiveness of the campaign to teach Science and Mathematics in English ("Study reveals policy’s flaws” — NST, Sept 7).

I wonder if any studies were done before the policy was implemented five years ago.

I am neither a Mathematics nor a Science teacher, but I feel some students and teachers find it hard to cope with English to begin with, let alone learn and teach Mathematics and Science in that language.

Both teachers and students need to possess a good standard of English to get the momentum going in the classroom but, in most cases, they are struggling to master even the basics of the language.

However, that is not to say we must scrap what we have adopted for so many years and invested so much time and effort in.
There have been numerous courses for teachers of Science and Mathematics in English; these teachers have even had extra allowances to teach those subjects in English.

Students, and our teachers, too, have been learning English since kindergarten days. So we should persevere with teaching Science and Mathematics in English.

What we need to do is to muster enough determination to carry on while also rectifying the mistakes in implementation that have worked against the success of the teaching programme. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The New Straits Times Online: 10 September 2008

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