2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, PPSMI, Program, Rencana, Subjek, Surat

EDUCATION: Never too late to revert to PPSMI

21 December 2012 | last updated at 11:23PM

 

 
By Liong Kam Chong,Seremban, Negri Sembilan | letters@nstp.com.my 

I REFER to the letter “Review teaching of Science” (NST, Dec 17) from Dr Faridah Shah. Of particular interest is the contention that to transform effectively the teaching and learning of Science, a priority is to “resolve the controversy surrounding the language of instruction for Science and Mathematics once and for all, by adopting a bilingual approach to the subjects”.

She says: “In primary school, the teaching and learning of basic concepts should be in the mother tongue (Mandarin and Tamil in national type schools) or Bahasa Malaysia (in national schools) in Year One to Four, with gradual introduction of English in Year Five to Six. In secondary school, Science and Maths should be taught in English from Form 1, so that by the time students reach the upper secondary level, they are able to master the subjects in English.”

That Faridah is a council member of the World Academy of Science for the Developing World and also a member of the Association of Voices of Peace, Conscience and Reason (PCORE) Education Committee, Kuala Lumpur, certainly gives weight to the applicability and effectiveness of her proposal.

This is a timely and brave proposal, more so in the light of the recently announced TIMSS (Trends in International Science and Mathematics Studies) 2011 results which showed yet another big dip in our Form 2 students’ performance in Science and Mathematics as compared with their counterparts in 62 other countries.

We need to rekindle the “flame” of PPSMI (the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English). And to quote former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was the initiator and champion of PPSMI, “It is never too late to revert to English!”

It is unfortunate that the preliminary Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 makes scant reference to PPSMI. This is indeed sad and certainly not reflective of the many earnest and sincere presentations and urgings voiced during the many town hall meetings and roundtable discussions held earlier, purportedly to inject inputs into the blueprint.

I believe, like me, many advocates of PPSMI are disappointed, distraught and even feel betrayed.

Be that as it may, let’s all rise and treat this shortfall of the blueprint as an opportunity to highlight yet again our aspirations.

At the outset, the MEB recognises the low achievements of our 15-plus in Science and Mathematics, as measured by TIMSS and Pisa (Programme for International Students Achievements). Then, it expresses its targets to take our students’ achievements to the top one-third rankings of all participating nations in the study and programme.

However, MEB neither addresses the problems that had caused the decline nor specifies any remedy for our students’ poor performances in Science and Mathematics. The Education Ministry needs to convince parents and students alike on how it plans to achieve higher international rankings in Science and Maths. If it just deals generally with all subjects and curricula as is done in the blueprint, the impact will be lost.

The blueprint must have sections that deal specifically with Science and Mathematics education as it is our major thrust; and tell the teachers, students and administrators of their respective specific responsibilities in promoting Science and Mathematics.

Failing which, it may lose any significant yield for all its efforts as outlined in the blueprint. The Science and Maths people will say “We are no different from others; it’s business as usual” and they will act accordingly. The Education Ministry can do all other things well and right, but if Science and Mathematics education is not specifically dealt with, the achievement rankings, will not change much.

The blueprint has to give urgent direction and directives to the following areas:

THE waning interest in Science and Mathematics among our students and even teachers;

THE now commonly practised “spoon feeding” approach to teaching Science and Mathematics in classrooms and in the laboratories; and,

THE need to build a scientific culture in schools and by extension, a scientific culture in society for sustained growth of innovation; a point earlier expounded by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.

Advocates of PPSMI must continue to stay focused and steadfast that Science and Mathematics in English is the best and proven pathway for overcoming the above challenges. And, let’s not forget the wise and bold words of Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, “That was a policy (PPSMI) in the right direction. But, the good intention behind the policy was hampered by incorrect methodology applied and ill preparedness. This resulted in disagreement which boiled over into opposition to the policy. Ultimately, the good intention was not well received, met with failure and had to be aborted.”

Would the ministry take heed of the royal wisdom, be humble enough to admit a mistake and do a rethink on its decision to abolish that policy?

Would the powers-that-be also not argue along the line that their not wanting a U-turn, a flip-flop or reversion is to preserve their “integrity and honour”? I beg to differ. Offering PPSMI to our schoolchildren is the most effective and efficient pathway to Form 6/Matriculation/University Science and Mathematics in English. It is the proven pathway.

On the other hand, going from Form 5 Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia to Form 6 Science and Mathematics in English overnight is the real flip-flop.

I see two windows of opportunity:

REINSTATE PPSMI for Year 4 pupils beginning in 2014;

REINSTATE PPSMI forForm 1 students beginning in 2017. Would the powers-that-be act on this?

.

Our schoolchildren need to be globally competitive and thrive in Mathematics and Science.

Read more: EDUCATION: Never too late to revert to PPSMI – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-never-too-late-to-revert-to-ppsmi-1.189408#ixzz2FfZwz3ZU

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2012, Arkib Berita, Keibubapaan, Masalah Guru, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Peperiksaan

Negative attitude worrying

Friday December 21, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/12/21/sarawak/12489471&sec=sarawak

By STEPHEN THEN 
stephenthen@thestar.com.my

MIRI: The Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) is deeply concerned about the tidak-apa attitude shown by parents towards their children’s education.

More parents, both mothers and fathers, are handing over responsibility for their children’s academic education, extra-curricular activities, physical and mental development entirely to the teachers and the management of the schools, said STU president William Gani Bina.

Gani said this couldn’t-care-less attitude was spreading in urban and rural schools, adding that this negative behaviour might have contributed to the decline in the academic performance of their children.

Even though the 0.8% decline in the latest overall PMR results in the state this year was not that alarming, Ghani said factors contributing to the decline were of great concern.

“We in the union have found that more parents are leaving the academic and moral welfare of their school-going children entirely to teachers.

“There have been many cases where parents do not bother to show up when invited by teachers to come to school or class to discuss the issues affecting their children.

“More parents are telling the teachers that they have no time because they have work to do,” he said.

Gani noted that they would leave it entirely to the teachers to do what was necessary to make sure their children get good results.

“This is not the right direction for these parents to take. This tidak apaattitude is widespread in schools in the cities, towns and in rural areas.

“This is a worrying trend. If parents do not show a keen interest in their children’s education, the children will eventually conjure up the idea that whatever happens to their studies is not important,” he said.

He said the lack of parental involvement would demoralise students and they would not feel motivated to do well in their studies and school activities.

“The end result is bad for both the students and the parents. Even though the latest PMR results are not too bad overall, parents must show more concern over this latest development,” he said when asked about the main factors that might have caused the slight dip in the state’s overall PMR results.

Gani said the union hoped to carry out more joint activities among parents, teachers and students on a regular basis in the coming school year.

“Teachers are facing tremendous increase in workloads, both in rural and urban schools, but more so in urban schools.

“The teacher will not be able to monitor the academic and personal development of every student under his charge under such pressing circumstances.

“There is no other option except for parents to be more involved comprehensively in their children’s school life if they want them to achieve good results in their studies and personal development,” he said.

When asked which division in Sarawak had the biggest decline in the PMR achievements, Gani said the data were still being compiled.

He, however, stressed that the slight decline did not indicate a decline in teaching standards.

2012, Arkib Berita, Bahasa, Masalah Guru, Pembangunan Sekolah, Program, Subjek

Malaysia bercadang ambil guru bahasa Inggeris dari India

21 Disember 2012, Jumaat

 

NEW DELHI 20 Dis. – Malaysia bercadang mengambil sejumlah guru bahasa Inggeris dari India untuk mengajar pelajar-pelajar Malaysia dalam usaha meningkatkan kemahiran bahasa tersebut, kata Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Perdana Menteri berkata, cadangan itu disambut baik oleh Perdana Menteri India, Dr. Manmohan Singh yang mengarahkan tindakan susulan dilakukan segera.

‘‘Perdana Menteri India menyambut baik cadangan tersebut dan akan mengarahkan menteri berkenaan untuk mengadakan perbincangan lanjut dengan Menteri Pendidikan kita bagi merealisasikan cadangan itu,” katanya.

Perdana Menteri berkata demikian kepada wartawan Malaysia selepas pertemuan dua hala dengan Manmohan dan bermesyuarat dengan anggota Forum Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Malaysia-India (MICEOF) di sini hari ini.

Najib tiba di sini lewat malam tadi untuk menghadiri Sidang Kemuncak Peringatan ASEAN-India selama dua hari yang bermula hari ini. Sidang bertemakan Perkongsian ASEAN-India untuk Keamanan dan Kemakmuran Bersama ini diadakan sempena 20 tahun hubungan dialog ASEAN-India dan ulangtahun ke-10 Sidang Kemuncak ASEAN-India.

Ini lawatan kedua Perdana Menteri ke India selepas lawatan pertama pada 2010 yang diikuti lawatan balas Manmohan sembilan bulan kemudian. Sejak itu hubungan Malaysia-India bukan setakat hubungan perdagangan biasa tetapi telah berkembang melalui perkongsian strategik dalam pelbagai bidang termasuk hubungan antara rakyat.

Menurut Perdana Menteri lagi, cadangan itu sebagai tambahan kepada program yang dilaksanakan dengan Amerika Syarikat (AS), Yayasan Fullbright dan Suruhanjaya Amerika Syarikat Mengenai Pertukaran Pendidikan (MACEE) sebelum ini.

Di bawah program dengan AS itu, Pembantu Guru Bahasa Inggeris (ETA) dari negara itu di tempatkan di beberapa sekolah terpilih seluruh negara khususnya di luar bandar.

Katanya, memandangkan India banyak menghantar pelajar ke luar negara, beliau mencadangkan kepada kerajaan India untuk melihat Malaysia sebagai satu lagi pilihan bagi menempatkan pelajar mereka di pusat-pusat pengajian tinggi di Malaysia. – UTUSAN

 

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