WE refer to the letters “Where have the textbooks gone?” (The Star, Jan 26), “Science using ‘Sains’ books” (The Star, Feb 23) and “Pupils have a right to PPSMI” (The Star, Feb 17).
At the start of every year, students and parents are confronted with directives by principals of national schools, both primary (Year Six still applies) and secondary (all years), who disregard the “soft landing” circular (www.moe.gov.my/cms/upload_files /circularfile/2011/circular_file_000933.pdf) to ensure that students who started (Science and Mathematics) in English can finish in English, which have inadvertently put the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) in a tight spot.
The reasons usually given are that there are no more books in English; examination questions will be in Bahasa Malaysia only; there is a new circular over-riding the soft landing; the district education office wants to streamline its medium of instruction; teachers cannot teach in English; new principals pretend they are unaware of the soft landing; and a host of other creative excuses. These are all untruths.
In an exclusive interview on Nov 5, 2011 with the then Education Director Datuk Seri (now Tan Sri) Abdul Ghafar Mahmud had said, “What we don’t want is for some school heads to insist that everyone learns in Bahasa Malaysia only. They cannot do that because that is not in keeping with the spirit of the circular which is to allow them to continue to learn the two subjects in a language of their choice.”
We have brought this matter up with the Education Minister II who appears unaware of the situation and has kindly offered for parents to raise their complaints with him through his office at Putrajaya.
In addition, we urge all affected parents to raise this matter with their respective schools at the upcoming PTA annual general meeting and realise your rights for your children.
We again appeal to the DPM to allow Science and Mathematics to be taught in English as an option in 2017 for Form One and beyond.
This will augur well for our children who endeavour to pursue careers in STEM and high finance in the future on a global platform.
For a start, parents of 16 year-olds are encouraged to organise teams to register for the prestigious National Science Challenge 2015 (www.nsc.my), the nation’s premier science competition open to Malaysian students, immediately between Feb 17 and March 16.
Each respective team will comprise one teacher-mentor and three student participants. The winning team will enjoy the grand prize which is the opportunity to go on a study visit to Stockholm, Sweden and witness the prestigious Nobel Prize Award ceremony held each year on Dec10. While the challenge is conducted in English, teams are allowed to express themselves in the language most comfortable to them. DATIN NOOR AZIMAH ABDUL RAHIM Chairman Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) The STAR Home News Education25 Feb 2015