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With regards to the above statement, I would first like to state the reason for the topic above. The government has been seen working hard in effort to improve the standards of living in our country for many years through various projects. It is been said that the international standards of communication are in the barriers of the English language and thus we have been encouraged to learn and applying it into our speaking. It is to our understanding as the citizens, that the topic on changing the language in which the Science and Mathematics are still being debated. As a student myself, I really could not comprehend as to why the government is planning to reinstate teachings to be done in Malay rather than English. I would like to propose a re-evaluation on the subject matter as the standards of our country's education is said to have deteriorated in recent years. I would like to state that it is better that the Education Ministry continues to implement Science and Mathematics to be taught in English.
2. In an article posted in The New York Times website, a Michael Richardson (October 15, 2002) stated that there was a decline in the standards of English in Malaysia that caused the government to change the language used to teach Science and Mathematics subjects. Michael wrote that according to official statistics within that period, it is said that barely 50 percent of Malaysians are able to communicate using English but close to 90 percent of the people are able to not only communicate but to read and write in Malay which is the local language and which is widely used in Southeast Asia. While the effort to encourage the use of English in teaching Science and Mathematics, the status of the language in the country is still very low. For many years, we have been struggling with our capacity to speak and master the English language and thus have made communication amongst our locals with foreigners. What is even more obvious is the standard of comprehension of the language in our country. In most places, English is widely spoken and used in our daily conversations such as the cities and most towns but what about the less fortunate? They too, have the right to learn and speak it. It is not due to the fact that it is used commonly around the world but due to the fact that it is an international language that has played an important role in the daily lives of people. As we know it, language acts as a mediator between people and every language has its significant status. English too, has its significance in various aspects. For instance, most researches, science and technological development were written in English and then further translated to other languages.
3. My personal view is that the Education Ministry should remain the subjects to be taught in English due to the many obvious reasons. To begin with, English language has been an established language following many changes and improvisation from many thousand years ago. It has been used by scholars for so many years and it has been dubbed as the language that shows professionalism in the way we speak and the way we present ourselves whether in work or our studies. The reasons why the government should maintain the language the subjects are taught is obvious. Firstly, students have been accustomed to studying and learning in English and when a sudden change occurs such as this matter, students will be unable to accept the change overnight. In this case, most terms and codes that have been learnt and used by the students have to be learnt again to be able to understand and use it in the future. In the article by Russell, then Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohammad stated that "English was the key to mastering scientific knowledge in the information age". He stated that English is the language of learning today which simply means that the importance of English is at a level where it is recognized globally. Most conservatives have high expectations for their mother tongue to flourish but it is also important that we understand the recognition of our language compared to those recognized globally. This is the cause for many misunderstandings amongst the people at times.
4. It is understood that in many countries that comprises of many different races and cultures, language is a sensitive issue and things are similar in our country. In a written article in a local newspaper (anon, October 29 2011), there was a section stating that there were positive results since the implementation of the subjects being taught in English. Consequently, there was an improvement in the country's examination results (UPSR, PMR, and SPM). The results obtained showed improvements not only in English but there was no reduction in the Malay language. Besides that, there was improvement even in the subjects that were taught in English. In that case, the matter of Science and Mathematics being taught in English should be further supported and improved rather than reverting to Malay once more. The Education Minister has stated in the article - "There are teachers who are not good at English. So what is the use?" - This shows that the action to remain teaching in English has to be maintained in order to higher the standard of the language in our country. English has already been an obstacle in our country for many years and this should no longer be a problem. With foreigners now constantly visiting our country as a vacation destination, the standards of English should be heightened rather than lowered. It is always good to know the origins of our culture but there is no harm in speaking a different language apart from the local language. As the saying goes, 'nothing ventured nothing gained'.
5. The government has many times encouraged the people to learn and progress in English in the past due to many valid reasons and there has not been a change in that reason. In an online web page, a written article that was titled "English language and its importance to Malaysia's growth" has stated a rather convincing cause as to why English is so important. To begin with, the global market is rapidly growing in terms of worldwide businesses, international trading, technological improvements and much more, requires a wider range of the language. Secondly, most employers today are looking for certain qualities when intending to employ workers and one of the certain requirements is to have good comprehension in English. The reason being is that, most business trades now are done with countries that speak their local language and using English as the mediating language. What is more important is that being able to not only converse but to understand and write in English helps us to speak confidently during conversations with, if not one another, other people. In life, we often meet new people and they may not necessarily be local. Some of the people we may meet in life are foreigners such as businessmen or tourists. These are the people who are not familiar with the local language of the country they visit and so very often English is used to communicate whether to buy food or to ask for simple directions. If one does not have an average capacity of English, the conversation will be very one-sided. Another benefit is to be recognized internationally as a developing country beside other developing and bigger nations. We will be able to prove that Malaysia isn't only candy for the eyes but also a strong and determined nation. Malaysia is already placed third in compared to five other countries in Southeast Asia on the English proficiency level. With that said, I think that the government should reconsider about reverting to Malay since there are many positive and encouraging results proven. What more can be said when there are obvious reasons displaying why we should maintain Science and Mathematics to be taught in English. As the proverb says, 'fact speaks louder than words'. With this in mind, I hope the government will reassess the matter.
(SEAN LEE ED-MUN)
English has been a language long recognized by the world and has proved many benefits to us. There have been many arguments on whether the language should be used to teach Science and Mathematics in Malaysia has been prolonged for many years. In 2003, there have been promising results when the government first called for schools to use English as the main language for Science and Mathematics to be taught in. In the years after, there was positive feedback by which there was an increase in academic results in the major exams in the country. There was also no decline in the local language, Malay for a few years. Besides that, there were increases in other subjects that were already taught in English and it has been a steady form until recently. With the government trying to reinstate that the subjects be taught in Malay, there have been various outbursts from the public which consists mainly of parents and students in general. This is due to the constant changes made in the education system that has sparked anger in some parents throughout the country. There have been other changes in the system since the year 2003 when the PPSMI was implemented. Although there were many irrelevant changes during that period, the results proved to be promising and positive. Thus, the government has been reconsidering that the subject be taught in Malay once again to encourage the nation to improve in the language. Now, there more protests against the matter but the government has made a decision that Science and Mathematics will be taught in Malay.