Muhyiddin: Decision to abolish PPSMI made after much thought

(The Star) – SEREMBAN: The Government’s decision to abolish the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English was made after much thought and deliberation.

It also took into consideration that students were still struggling to communicate in English six years after the programme was introduced, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He added that the issue was compounded by the problem of teachers having a poor command of English which made teaching and learning of the two subjects even more difficult.

Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said the Government did not make the decision in haste, but only did so upon discovering that pupils, particularly those in the rural areas, were lagging behind in the two subjects.

“Apart from having to learn a language which is not their mother tongue, our children are being made to study the two subjects in English as well,” he said, adding that studies had also shown that pupils would better understand a subject if it was taught in their mother tongue.

He said a survey carried out by the Education Ministry showed that the majority of the 60,000 teachers who taught the two subjects in English also had a poor command of the language.

“They did not have sufficient training to be able to teach effectively,” he said during a dialogue with teachers at the Raja Melewar Teacher’s Institute here yesterday.

“Our decision to abolish the PPSMI (teaching of the two subjects in English) was correct and we will continue with the policy of upholding Bahasa Malaysia and strengthening English in schools,” he added.

In Kampar, Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir said the poor command of English among Malaysian graduates had caused the country to lose out in foreign investments.

He said students should not only be academically competent but must also be able to be fully proficient in English.

“The teaching of English should not be conducted in a structured manner.

“The subject is more than about learning grammar alone,” he said after meeting English trainers from several countries here yesterday.