Malaysia

DPM: Only 11pc classes want to learn maths, science in English

December 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 — Only 11 per cent of classes nationwide have opted for science and mathematics to be taught in English for next year’s schooling session, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

The education minister said that while a small percentage of classes will be taught the two subjects in English, more than half the same classes nationwide will be conducted in a bilingual manner.

Muhyiddin (picture) said his ministry’s statistics showed that many students were not comfortable with using English for the two subjects.

“Only 11.18 per cent of science classes and 11.22 per cent mathematics classes in schools have opted to teach the respective subjects in English.

“Meanwhile, the percentage of classes that will use both languages (Bahasa Malaysia and English) is 55.55 per cent and 56.20 per cent for science and mathematics respectively,” the deputy prime minister was quoted by The Star Online as saying.

The government has come under fire from former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and pro-English lobby groups for its decision in 2009 to abolish the learning of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) in schools and revert to Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction for the teaching of mathematics and science.

Despite much criticism, the government announced recently that it would not back down from the decision but would allow the final PPSMI batch to continue with the policy until they complete their secondary education.

When making the announcement recently, Muhyiddin explained the decision meant that students between Year Three and Form Five next year would be allowed the option of learning science and mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia, English or both languages, as allowed under PPSMI, until they complete their primary and secondary education.

But this year’s Year One students, the first batch to undergo MBMMBI (Upholding the Malay Language and Strengthening Command of English), would have to continue learning the two subjects in Bahasa Malaysia when they enter Year Two next year, he said.

MBMMBI was mooted in July 2009 to replace PPSMI and came into effect in January this year for Year One students.