PUTRAJAYA: The re-introduction of the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) has yet to be confirmed as Cabinet needs to weigh the matter before it is approved.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also the acting Education Minister, said the government is looking into reviving PPSMI but would do so after considering opinions from several quarters.
As such, Dr Mahathir said a committee has been set up to oversee PPSMI and whether it should go ahead.
“I realised that there are news reports saying the government has decided to re-introduce PPSMI but actually, we haven’t decided yet.
“I was only having a talk with the officers in the ministry but somehow it was leaked and it was reported that apparently, the government has already made a decision.
“We are still considering this because we found there are some who are opposing it. This time we will make a decision based on the opinions of the majority of Cabinet members.
“We have a small committee set up to find out because apparently among the public there are strong proponents on both sides,” he told a press conference at Putrajaya International Convention Centre here today.
Dr Mahathir also said the government welcomed opinions from the public and relevant stakeholders on the matter.
If PPSMI is revived, the prime minister said it would involve all schools, including vernacular schools.
This, he said, was to ensure all Malaysians would be able to speak on Science and Mathematics in English at the international level.
“We hope other vernacular schools will adopt this too because otherwise, they will be unable to converse with (international) scientists who are fluent in English.
“Our scientists have to take part in international conferences and if they learned the subjects in Bahasa Melayu, it’ll be difficult for them to participate in international conferences.
“Science is not static, it is always changing. We hear different scientific words being used every day and if we are unable to grasp the concepts in English, it will be difficult for us to understand it,” he said.
In an effort to help students have a better grasp in English, Dr Mahathir said the lessons on the subject will be further enhanced.
The plan, according to him, is to gather language experts and get them to compile the lessons by using the most effective method in teaching a language.
“We found out that sometimes there are teachers who are not fluent in English.
“We will introduce a new way to teach using local and international experts who will produce these lessons and record it in videos to be shown to students.
“I still believe that without English we will be left out in certain industries,” he said.
PPSMI was first introduced in 2003 and it was fully implemented to all secondary school students later in 2007 and primary school students in 2008 before it was abolished in 2013.
Source: News Straits Times
Photo: Astro AWANI