Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Majority of PMR Science Answers in English

Headline in the Star today - 51.2% of candidates chose English and English only to answer their PMR Science exam compared with 30.8% who answer in Malay and 18% who used a combination of the two. In the previous year, only 21.5% used English and only English. This is a pretty big jump. I would have liked to see the breakdown for Math as well to see if there was a similar jump. Perhaps this may be a sign that there will not be a complete reversion to the previous policy of teaching S&M in BM or mother tongue at the primary school level? I suspect that a compromise decision may be made. Either continue teaching S&M in English at the secondary school level or start after Primary 3.

9 comments:

Shawn Tan said...

What I fail to see is any inherent advantage of changing the present system to either Primary 3 or Form 1. What I do see are disadvantages of any change. In both cases, the students will already have additional subjects to take. So, trying to change them over to a new language is just an unnecessarily extra burden. We may even need to reopen remove classes to help the weaker students cope.

However, while I think that science should be taught in English from the very start, I think that math doesn't really need to be. Math is a language unto itself. It should be taught that way. Theoretically speaking, we should be able to teach math in a totally alien language (such as martian math) and still be able to teach it perfectly.

Charis Quay said...

Shawn, while this may be true in primary school, the sciences get more and more mathematical as time goes on, so it makes a lot of sense to have both in the same language from the start.

Kian Ming, I saw the news on TV last night and the headline in the NST today as well. I would say the 'spin' in the headlines is a pretty sure sign that the policy will not change. Otherwise we would have seen 'Only half of students respond in English.' and 'After four years, many students don't feel comfortable with English' backed up with interviews with almost-straight-A students from SMK Hulu Pendalaman who blame English for whatever As they didn't get and a few features about the gap between urban and rural schools etc.

Call me cynical...

Anonymous said...

We don’t need to drag the school administrator into such hassle, the solution is a simple one. Let the Chinese school revert to teaching of math and science in mother tongue, while Sekolah Kebangsaan and Sekolah Tamil continue with the teaching of math and science in English as the policy is well received from these two streams. If you want to learn Mandarin but not willing to learn math and science in mother tongue, go and talk to our Education Minister to allow you to learn Mandarin in Sekolah Kebangsaan, otherwise, please take tuition at home. Or the best way, fight for a English school, don’t act like UMNO to steal from us, create your own, please. With your smart brain and excellent education from US and UK, I believe you all could do it. Okay?

We need to score 13 point to pass additional mathematics, I wonder how many point we need to pass our UPSR English paper? 31?

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Fikri said...

A very sharp analysis of the media, Charis. Well spotted. :) I have a feeling that the policy won't change much either, if at all (unless there is a significant change somewhere). As it stands, I am thinking that perhaps we should concentrate more on other aspects, like focusing on the standard of teachers across the board.

After all, in a lot of cases, the students can only be as good as the teacher allows them to be. Perhaps we should consider discussing separation of duties and higher enticements for qualified people to become teachers in schools, and push this further as a public agenda.

Card Access Malaysia said...

Its encouraging to learn about the facts.

Iklan Malaysia said...

There are great benefits of learning an extra language especially an international language.
Lets not give up when we see difficulties or obstacles in life.
One day, our children, our descendants will appreciate it.

Best Website Submitter said...

Congratulations to Malaysian leaders for making a wise choice in using global language such as English in Mathematics and Science. Tun Mahathir is wise to implement this in schools. It is by common sense citizens who want to compete in the global market place and playing field, have to learn the language.

Anonymous said...

Mahathir is wise? He is no different from your English master who leave you a piece of shit for you people to fight on.

Why don't you learn your BM in English to improve your English?