KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Bahasa Melayu advocacy group TERAS today demanded Putrajaya immediately stop the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) instead of gradually phasing it out, warning that failure to do so could become a “tragedy for our religion, nation and country.”
The group complained that students are currently “trapped” in the transition between PPSMI and the new policy of using Bahasa Melayu as the language medium for the two subjects (MBMMBI), following Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement last year that the former policy would be phased out.
“PPSMI is a huge problem stemming from leaders colonised into thinking that mastering English can turn us into a developed country,” said TERAS president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid in a statement.
“Ironically, these very same leaders and political parties claim that they are fighting for their nation.”
According to TERAS, no long-term evaluation was made regarding the future of the Malay language as a language of science when PPSMI was introduced.
As a result, “thousands of students remain victims while they wait for the source of the disease to be destroyed.”
TERAS also urged the public to continue protesting against PPSMI and not take heed of the government’s attempts to buy time through empty promises.
“According to an announcement made by the deputy prime minister, the people must stay patient as the abolishment of PPSMI would take time... Thus, 2012 was slated to be the end of PPSMI.
“But even up to today, PPSMI continues. And now there are talks among leaders that PPSMI can stay if it is amended,” said Mohd Azmi.
“If they could introduce PPSMI all of a sudden without much research, why can’t they do that with [MBMMBI]?” he asked.
The government has come under fire from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and pro-English lobby groups over its move in 2009 to revert to the teaching of science and mathematics in Bahasa Melayu under the policy to uphold the national language while promoting the use of English.
Despite much criticism, Putrajaya has said it will not back down from the decision but would allow the final PPSMI batch to continue until they complete their secondary education.
MBMMBI, mooted in July 2009 as a replacement for PPSMI, came into effect in January last year for Year One students.