Malaysia/ 16 July 2020/ Author/ Ainaa Aiman/ Source/ https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/
PETALING JAYA: An education expert has given her support to the government’s refusal to resurrect the policy of teaching science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) in government schools.
Zuwati Hasim of Universiti Malaya’s Language and Literacy Education Department told FMT a study conducted in 2006 indicated that PPSMI, which was introduced in 2003, did not result in significant improvements in students’ mastery of science, mathematics or English.
She was a member of the team that conducted the nationwide study.
Education Minister Radzi Jidin told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that the government had no plans to follow up on the previous administration’s proposal to reintroduce PPSMI, which was discontinued in 2012.
Zuwati said the the current dual language programme (DLP) was better than PPSMI because learners could pick their preferred language.
DLP was introduced in 2016. It allows schools to choose the teaching language used in science and mathematics lessons.
“Learning ability between learners vary to some extent,” Zuwati said. “Hence, we should not implement a one-size-fits-all policy.
“Many would acquire an additional language only if they see the need to and if they have an interest in learning the language. It should not be imposed.”
Speaking against the argument that it is more efficient to study science and mathematics in English because large amounts of study materials are published in the language, she said students choosing to further their studies in scientific or mathematical fields could take up English for Specific Purposes at the start of their tertiary education.
Referring to the research conducted in 2006, she said it indicated that PPSMI caused a widening of the gap between rural and urban pupils because it did not take into account the lack in rural schools of adequate internet access, which was necessary because of the use of schoolnet and bestarinet as learning platforms.
She also said many science and mathematics teachers were ill-equipped for PPSMI because their training was in Malay.