Umno: PPSMI is a bane to students from rural areas

Umno: PPSMI is a bane to students from rural areas

I would like to express my frustration with the decision made by Prime Minister cum Acting Education Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who wants to restore the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI).

It is a decision that does not take into account many factors including the community, especially rural students.

When the PPSMI was implemented from 2003 to 2010, there was an 80% decline in our students’ performance results, which forced the government to abolish it in 2012.

Students in the rural areas especially the Orang Asli, faced great difficulty when PPSMI was implemented, due to the limited use of English in their daily lives.

The government needs to assess the ability of teachers in primary and secondary schools to master English before they teach Mathematics and Science especially in rural areas.

Previously, the major issue was the inability of teachers in the rural areas to teach Mathematics and Science in English, as well as lack of infrastructure and other learning tools to aid the programme.

For starters. the government should first provide teachers who are English literate, as well as the right infrastructure and tools before announcing the re-implementation.

And saying that the country is underdeveloped and students cannot find jobs if Mathematics and Science are still taught in Bahasa Melayu are shallow excuses. As we can see now, our students who excel in their studies learned Mathematics and Science in Bahasa Melayu.

The requirement to become a developed country is not due to English only because countries that are successful in fields related to Mathematics and Science are also of non English-speaking countries such as Japan, South Korea, China, Germany, France, Italy and others.

These countries continue to use their native language but are successful in areas related to the subject of Mathematics and Science. In fact, our country also send outstanding students to non-English speaking countries as I mentioned above.

For example, if we send our students to Japan, our students will have to take Japanese courses and study the Japanese language. So, what does it mean for our students to study English in Malaysia, but eventually when abroad, our students have to take the local language courses?

I think if we want our students to master English, then the English language syllabus needs to be improved in terms of learning, increasing study time or other things that we think are best.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should first review PPSMI implementation before embarking on it, taking into account poverty data and rural students with limited English language learning resources.

Do not leave children in rural areas behind in the pursuit of elite empowerment.

The Pakatan government often neglect rural groups and fail to make fair and equitable policies and decisions for them.

I hope the Prime Minister will review and drop this proposal. Do not gamble the future of our children in rural areas.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is the Opposition Leader