Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said despite allocating a lot of time for students to master the language at primary, secondary and matriculation levels, the command of the language, especially among those at university level, was poor.
“That is why I have instructed the education director-general to look into the curriculum as to why our students are unable to master English as a second language despite learning it for 13 years,” Muhyiddin who is also Education Minister, said.
Top student: Norfaseha Mohd Zailan receiving an iPad from Muhyiddin during the prize-giving ceremony at SMK Maokil in Johor yesterday. Looking on is Datuk Ahmad Maslan (second from left). — ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG/The Star
He added that he wanted to find out whether the teachers teaching the language were not properly trained, whether there were adequate teachers, or the books that were being used to teach the subject were not appropriate.
Muhyiddin stressed that while the Government had scrapped the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English programme (PPSMI), it still placed emphasis on English as a second language, which was vital for economic development and international relations.
“I want to assure parents that we are not going to neglect English just because we scrapped the PPSMI programme.
“For us, English is an important language,” he said during his visit to SMK Maokil here yesterday.
He presented awards to students who performed well in their studies.
Muhyiddin challenged students in urban and rural areas to do their best to master English.
“Parents should also play their part to continue motivating their children to improve in their education whether in the town or rural area,” he said.
Muhyiddin also urged parent-teacher associations to help resolve problems in schools.
At another event, Muhyiddin urged traders to avoid taking advantage of the coming festive season by raising prices.
He reminded them that under the Price Control Act 1946, traders could not increase prices for items such as chicken, sugar and fish.
By NELSON BENJAMIN and MOHD FARHAAN SHAH firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: The STAR Home News Nation Sunday August 7, 2011