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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Education DG : Don't Politicise Teaching of Maths And Science in English

The issue of teaching and learning Mathematics and Science in English must not be politicised as it could jeopardise national education, said the director-general of Education Datuk Alimuddin Mohd Dom.

He said it would be good for the matter to be left to Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and the Cabinet to make a decision.

“Hishammuddin will bring the matter to the Cabinet to be deliberated on before they make a decision,” he said here after meeting Mohd Amirul Hakim Mohd Afandi, a Form Three student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tok Janggut.

Amirul was recently injured when he was slashed with a curved knife by a Fourth Former of the same school. Amirul’s parents were also present at the meeting.

Alimuddin was commenting on the statement by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan who believed that certain political parties had a hand in the march protest by thousands of demonstrators yesterday in Kuala Lumpur against the policy of using English to teach Maths and Science in schools.

Musa regretted that supporters of the Gerakan Memansuhkan PPSMI (GMP), the group demanding the abolishment of the policy, refused to follow a police order for them to disperse, resulting in riot police firing teargas at them.

Police also arrested eight men and checked 119 people who acted aggressively during the illegal street demonstration under Section 27 of the Police Act 1967 and Section 341/353 of the Penal Code.

Alimuddin said the policy of teaching and learning Maths and Science in English needed to be carefully studied before a decision could be made on it.

“We must look at education for the future of our children and grandchildren. If we can look at the policy from the education aspects, the issue can be resolved amicably,” he said.

On another matter, he said indiscipline including truancy, fighting and gangsterism among school students was under control, and in fact on the decline, from 2.1 per cent in 2007 to 2.08 per cent in 2008.

In Kuala Lumpur, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat also said that the issue of teaching of Maths and Science should be left to the Cabinet to decide.

“It is unnecessary to further debate and get dramatic over the matter since the policy which was implemented in 2003 is still under review by the Education Ministry.

“The MCA has stated its stand many times and we will stand by it. Normally, the Cabinet will only decide on a matter after the relevant minister submitted a memorandum to the Cabinet,” he told reporters after officiating at the Liverpool John Moores University’s graduation ceremony today.

The MCA hopes that both subjects be taught in the national language or mother tongue at the primary school level and in English at the secondary level.


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