Friday, December 19, 2008

Teaching of Maths and Science in English

The cabinet will soon make a decision on the teaching of Maths and Science in English.

MCA and Gerakan from the beginning were not in favour of teaching of Maths and Science in English.

On the other hand, MIC had supported the teaching of Maths and Science in English as it will increase the proficiency of students in the language. Students from Tamil schools had always had to adjust to learning of Maths and Science from Tamil to Bahasa Malaysia before the policy was implemented. With the use of English for Maths and Science for both primary and secondary level students, the issue of adjustment for Tamil School students was somewhat reduced.

MIC had always believed, and it is also the opinion of this scribe, that the use of English for Maths and Science in English will go a long way in helping students in their tertiary education where most of the research materials are in English. The importance of a good command of English cannot be understated and its continuous decline among our students had been alarming.

Therefore MIC welcomed the government's move to use English for teaching Maths and Science when it was introduced six years ago.

However, with the recent increase in calls to revert to the old system, the Education Ministery had called for feedbacks and held round-table discussions on the issue. YB Dato Seri Hishammuddin Hussein will be submitting a report on its finding to the cabinet for its deliberation.

Tamil school headmasters and parents during a round-table discussion organized by MIC had made it very clear that they are against teaching of Maths and Science in English. Despite MIC's own views on this issue, our cabinet representative, YB Dato Dr S Subramaniam has been instructed by MIC's Central Working Committee to convey their stand to the cabinet.

MIC President, YBhg Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu said although he believed that it was good for the students, especially in Tamil schools to master the English language, "but I have to listen and heed the views and wishes of the Tamil school headmasters and parents".

"They have a right to make their own decision. We can't impose on them our views. It is a matter that concerns their children and students. As such, we will abide to their request." he said.

Headmasters, teachers and parents of Tamil school students had taken a clear stand.

It will be interesting to hear the views of parents of children studying in Sekolah Kebangsaan. They have been silent on this issue. After all, the majority of Indian students are in Sekolah Kebangsaan.

What is your view?

Murugesan Sinnandavar