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Students use language to communicate and to understand mathematics concepts and science's fact. Language influences students' thought by molding perception and structuring ideas. However, in recent years, science and mathematics in lower secondary subjects have been taught in English. This may lead to a major problem in learning those subjects.
Therefore, there was a research carried out to gather information and to get the clearer picture on what have happened regarding the teaching and learning science and mathematics in schools. The research found out that the respondents agreed to the importance of English Language in everyday life as well as career opportunity however they felt that learning science and mathematics was very difficult and demanding.This is due to the lack of ability in understanding of the subject matters and the instruction language.In learning mathematics, students frequently encounter mathematics problems involving calculations, understanding of concepts, principles and mathematical relationship with others subjects.
The intentions in this study are to look at the implications of the policy for the school performance in mathematics and science subjects and to test for any significant different in the performance of schools in different location and type. This type of research is important, as it will provide a clearer picture of how the schools performance in mathematics and science subjects are affected by the policy and whether schools in certain location or type are benefiting from the policy. This study would contribute to an easier understanding of the implications of the policy for the schools performance in mathematics and science subjects.However, how far do the changes affect the teachers is the issue addressed in the paper. In fact the objectives of the study were to investigate the reaction of the mathematics and science teachers to using English as the medium of instruction, the problems encountered by these teachers in using English in the classroom and the availability of language support systems.
It's a hardship for all the teachers and students that had been studying Math sans Science by using English language to get educate from the past and in a sudden the government wanted to transform into Malay language. The ministry of education shouldn't be protecting their Malay's dignity and ruin the whole teaching and learning form. Mathematics and Science should be taught by using English because from the very beginning mathematic and science was taught in English.
3.1 LetterTo Prime Minister
See Wei Quan
24, Jalan Yin Choo Han
24th April 2012
The Hon. Dato' Sri MohdNajib bin Tun Abdul Razak
Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia
I am very disturbed by the coalition against the studying of science and mathematic in English (GMP) which wants to put an end to the language switch just after eight years of implementation. I would like to put forth a few points.
Firstly, studying mathematics and science in English erode the spirit of the national language as enshrined in the federal constitution? Let's consider Singapore. Singapore's national language as enshrined in its constitution is Bahasa Melayu. But all subjects are taught in English and each major ethnic group is required to take up their mother tongue language. So we have not come to their level yet.
Currently in Malaysia, all subjects except for science and mathematics are taught in Bahasa Malaysia, so what is the fuss? By coming forth to protest in the name of the national language rather than raise concerns of the accessibility of rural schools to resources that would empower both teachers and students to teach and study these subjects in English is definitely off tangent.
Let me digress to point out the weaknesses in the implementation of this policy so far:
2. The ministry implemented the policy cross-sectional meaning, all of a sudden, students who had been studying mathematics and science (M&S) in their mother tongue had to adapt to the language switch. All the transitions I experienced were tiring. What the ministry should have done was implement the teaching of mathematics and science in English starting from primary school or secondary school, instead of injecting it at different transition points.
3. I had been studying Mathematics and Science in Chinese since primary and taught by English in secondary school. This compared to the students who were trained in English but taught in Bahasa Malaysia initially. Unfortunately, most of them are graduating in a few years time. If a teacher were given five years were to be given to train and produce teachers to teach mathematic and science in English prior to the policy's implementation, the teachers would had been able to effectively teach the subjects in English.
4. Prior to implementing this new policy, rural schools were already facing problems with teaching and resources. The hurried implementation certainly made things more difficult for them. One may argue, 'Look at Japan, Germany, Korea, China, Indonesia. They could teach the subjects in their national language, why can't we?' As pointed out by AB Sulaiman, the Malay language is insufficiently mature to handle all the technical terms used today in the scientific world. If teachers were to continue their pursuit to study match and science in Bahasa Malaysia, will there be sufficient and efficient resources to translate scientific journals out there into Bahasa Malaysia so that all students can benefit from the pool of scientific knowledge to discover new things to be on par with international standards?
As Francis Collins in his book The Language of God, which embodied the wisdom of Woodrow Wilson, said, 'I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow.' How can we go global\ if we are not able to translate scripts to Bahasa Malaysia?On another note, I just came back from some vacation in Australia. I have met friends from China, India, Germany, Japan and Indonesia. Guess what?
Most of them can articulate their points in English for both subjects and they are able to study the subjects in English, despite their solid training in their mother tongue languages.Will we be able to produce people who are capable of this if science and maths were to be taught in Bahasa Malaysia? I hope so! Well, there are many Malaysian students abroad who are living testimony to this, but not without a cost for we had to play our part to adapt to the English language.
English is certainly the way forward. I would like to encourage both the government and the opposition (I was surprised to know some members of the opposition are for the abolishment of the policy) to remain resilient in maintaining the policy. A batch of students trained in English for the subjects will be emerging in five years time and we'll then see the fruits of this new policy - a tri or bi-lingual student, prepared to face an increasingly, if not globalized world, putting an end to a vicious cycle of damage to our education system.
Regarding to the matter that been target above, I hope that your honor would deeply consider about the major matter, that might lead a major the whole nation student's future education.
(SEE WEI QUAN)