Education Ministry explains longer BM lessons

Sunday November 25, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/25/nation/12368076&sec=nation

 

Proud moment: Chan holding his award at the annual South-East Asia Property Awards 2012 in Singapore.Proud moment: Chan holding his award at the annual South-East Asia Property Awards 2012 in Singapore.

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Education Blueprint 2013-2015 does not intend to sideline any vernacular school in this country, said Education director-general Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.

The ministry, he said, would ensure every government and government-assisted school had access, equity and quality education.

“The existence of National Type Schools (SJK) is enshrined in the Education Act 1996 (Section 28) and further strengthened in the Blueprint (Chapter 7, pages 7-16),” he said in a statement here yesterday.

The statement was issued in response to a memorandum from the United Chinese Schools Committees Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong), which handed it to Minister in the Prime Minister’s DepartmentDatuk Seri Nazri Aziz on Sept 26.

The Government, said Abd Ghafar, had no intention of changing the status or features of national-type schools.

He said it was inaccurate to state that additional time given to the teaching of Bahasa Malaysia of up to 570 minutes a week might jeopardise the mastery of the students’ mother tongue.

The additional time is only for weak students in rehabilitation classes at SJKC, comprising only about 30% of them.

“The Primary School Standard Curriculum (KSSR) has been implemented in stages since 2011 beginning with Year 1. In 2014, this 2011 Year 1 cohort will be in Year 4 (Level 2 KSSR).

“The increase in Bahasa Malaysia learning time for the Level 1 SJKC is from 270 to 300 minutes while for Level 2, from 180 to 270 minutes,” he said.

However, he said the differences should be seen in the context of two systems, namely the time allocated for Level 2, which was 180 minutes for KBSR (Primary School Integrated Curriculum) and 270 minutes for KSSR.

The longer period of up to five hours a week or 300 minutes for remedial classes was only compulsory for SJKC students who required them, said Abd Ghafar.

Hence, the time increase allocated to Bahasa Malaysia for Year 4 to Year 6 was actually from 180 to 270 minutes, he said.

“The duration is increased by one hour a day with the aim of improving Bahasa Malaysia proficiency among students who have not attained the minimum proficiency from Year 4 to Year 6 in SJKC and SJKT.

“We feel that it’s better for students who have not mastered the language to be identified at an early stage in Years 4, 5 and 6,” he said. – Bernama