KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — The National Union of the Teaching Professions (NUTP) has welcomed the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) decision not to reintroduce the Policy of Teaching Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI).
Throwing its support behind MOE, NUTP hoped that matters pertaining to PPSMI will no longer be an issue in the education sector as how it became a tool for politicians in the past, its secretary-general Harry Tan said today in a statement.
The NUTP instead urged the MOE to take the Dual Language Programme (DLP) seriously and not let it be “buried”.
“The MOE needs to be more aggressive in producing and ensuring there is sufficient number of teachers who can teach Mathematics and Science in English.
“This programme (DLP) is important to parents who want their children to master the English in order to be competent when they work in countries globally,” said Tan.
He added that currently it was parents’ wish that the DLP programme be made available to help students be ready for the work market.
“While there are many ways that can be implemented to help students master the English language, the issue of a lack in teachers first needs to addressed,” he said.
Tan hoped the Cabinet will intervene to solve issues relating to teaching in English to ensure that Malaysia was on par with developed nations.
Previously, the NUTP had backed the announcement by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was the acting education minister, to revive PPSMI.
However, the group expressed caution on the ill-preparedness of the teaching force to adapt to the system, which was abolished and replaced with the DLP.
Yesterday, Education Minister Radzi Jidin was reported as saying the government has no plans to reintroduce PPSMI.
The PPSMI was first introduced in 2003 during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s first tenure as prime minister, but was abolished in 2011.
When Dr Mahathir was prime minister with the Pakatan Harapan coalition, he said a Cabinet committee had been formed to study the reintroduction of PPSMI, but a decision would be made based on the majority opinion of his then Cabinet.