Pakatan against option to teach Science and Maths in English, says Nik Nazmi

(The Star) – Giving schools the option of teaching Science and Mathematics in English is not part of Pakatan Rakyat’s policy although DAP wants it, PKR communications director Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said.

He said that while it was understood that there was a need for students to master English and to receive quality education, PPSMI was not the way to achieve these objectives.

“Pakatan’s policy is clear on the matter and should be left at that until and unless the Pakatan leadership decides otherwise,” he said.

On Monday, the DAP was reported as urging the Education Ministry to give the option to schools to teach Science and Mathematics in English, where the majority of the parents chose to do so.

Nik Nazmi said that Pakatan was against PPSMI because the best way to educate children is through the national language understood by everyone.

“Educating students in a language that is foreign to them would benefit the English-speaking students at the expense of the rest, thus widening inequality,” he said, adding that Pakatan supported the effort to improve the teaching of English through improving the quality of English teachers and the syllabus.

He also said that Malaysia’s performance dropped significantly in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2007 (United States) after the implementation of PPSMI.

Nik Nazmi said that PPSMI was not mentioned in the Common Policy Framework or Buku Jingga, which binds PKR, PAS and DAP.

He pointed out that PPSMI, which was implemented in 2003, resulted in Science and Mathematics teachers who had a poor command of English being forced to teach in the language, thus affecting the quality of their teaching.

“As a result, non-English speaking households had the added burden of coping with teachers who were unable to properly teach the two subjects,” he said.