Majority wants Science, Maths taught in English

(The Star) – Although there have been objections from sections in the public on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English, a recent poll conducted by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research suggests that the majority are for it.

Of the 1,018 participants of the Fourth Quarter 2008 Peninsular Malaysia Voter Survey, 57% agreed that the subjects should be taught in English.

“This means people recognise the importance of the language in the education system,” said the centre’s programme director Ibrahim Suffian yesterday.

He, however, added that the results were just a “scratch of the surface” because authorities should explore other aspects of the policy like the challenges it may pose to students as well as ways to improve the quality of teaching in English.

The survey also revealed that the public had mixed reaction on whether they were pleased with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s performance as Prime Minister, with 46% saying they were and another 46% expressing dissatisfaction.

Ibrahim said the results reflected the current political mode of society whereby the public recognised the Opposition as an alternative to the country’s leadership.

Some 41% of the respondents believed that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would make a good prime minister when he assumed office, as opposed to 36% who disagreed.

“The numbers show that Najib enjoys more support from the Malays compared with the non-Malays.

“This indicates that the non-Malays are still uncertain about his capabilities and are waiting to see what he can do,” Ibrahim said.

The public was also split about the newly-formed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, with 43% expressing confidence in the body to succeed in fighting corruption while another 45% were sceptical.