Teaching of Maths & Science in English: Implementation issues
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  1. #1
    jeffooi Guest

    Teaching of Maths & Science in English: Implementation issues

    Teaching of Maths & Science in English:
    Implementation issues

    Related thread:
    Teaching of Maths and Science in English

    "Knowledge, of the incontrovertible kind, where truth is verifiable
    to exact quantums and therefore universal, cannot be a source of

    "But politicians — the endlessly malleable practitioners of the art
    of the possible — have found a way of squaring the circle."

    Well said.

    The policy has been made. Now's the phase for implementation,
    in January 2003. It's just 60 days from now.

    Let's monitor how it's being implementated.

    Are there further road-blocks? Is there an early-warning system if
    foreseeable outcomes sway from the original merits. Is there a
    Plan B?

    My little 5-year-old has been offered as guinea-pig come 2004.

  2. #2
    jeffooi Guest
    Saturday, November 2, 2002

    Other News & Views

    Meanwhile, the Chinese education movement Dong Jiao Zong said the bilingual formula adopted by the Barisan Nasional supreme council to implement the policy of using English to teach Science and Mathematics in the Chinese primary schools would be disadvantageous to these schools.

    In separate news reports, Sin Chew Daily quoted Dong Zong deputy chairman Dr Yap Sin Tian and Jiao Zong chairman Ong Kow Yee as saying that the formula, which the Chinese educationists described as the 2-4-3 formula, reduced the hours for mother tongue lessons in the Chinese primary schools.

    Under the formula, pupils will have two extra periods to learn English Language, four extra periods to learn Mathematics in English and three extra periods to learn Science in English.

    To implement the formula, adjustments will have to be made to the existing timetable including the reduction of hours for the Chinese language.

    Dr Yap told Sin Chew that cutting down Chinese language hours would lead to the weakening of mother tongue education in the Chinese primary schools.


  3. #3
    jeffooi Guest
    3:06pm Sat Nov 2nd, 2002

    DAP says policy 'educationally unsound',
    will go on campaign to highlight flaws

    Yap Mun Ching

    Dismayed by the compromise by Barisan Nasional parties on the language
    switch issue, the DAP today announced a nationwide campaign to highlight the
    flaws of the policy.

    DAP chairperson Lim Kit Siang said the campaign, scheduled to begin on Nov
    19 in Kuala Lumpur, is intended to show that the implementation plan has "no
    educational merit whatsoever"
    and would burden students unnecessarily.

    "That this is a politics first and education last policy is best illustrated
    by the reaction of the director-general of education Abdul Rafie Mahat, who
    was quoted as saying by The Star yesterday that the Barisan Nasional supreme
    council decision was purely a 'political' one," Lim told a press conference
    in Petaling Jaya.

    Ministry in the dark

    Lim said the confusion over the matter is evident from the statements made
    by Abdul Rafie yesterday on the proposed implementation of the policy

    "The ministry is in the dark as anyone else. They have said that teachers
    would not be paid more so where is the RM5 billion allocation (in the budget
    over the next seven years) going to?
    It looks like the politicians have
    washed their hands over the matter and left it to the ministry," he said.

    Lim pointed to the uncertainty over whether Chinese primary schools would
    have to teach students the same content in two languages, teach some
    chapters in either language, or to teach students in Chinese but with
    supplementary teaching of terminologies in English.

    "DAP would seriously suggest that all the nine new periods be devoted to
    teaching English instead as there is no educational case that using English
    to teach Maths and Science is the best and most effective way to raise
    proficiency (in the language)," he asserted.

    According to him, studies conducted in several other countries have shown
    that the use of a second language as a medium of instruction from too early
    stages can impede their development and thinking skills of students, and
    affect their grasp of Maths, Science and languages.

    For instance, Lim said the bilingual education system in South Africa had
    resulted in an "educational disaster" with students from the country scoring
    poorly in international Maths and Science surveys.

    "South Africa came out last for Maths and Science and this is traced to the
    use of a second language, English, as a medium of instruction from too early
    stages," he said.

    Gerakan let-down

    The DAP leader also expressed disappointment with BN component party Gerakan
    for endorsing the latest compromise although the latter had initially
    opposed the government's language switch plan based on the same studies.

    "Such educational insights did not prevent Gerakan leaders from compromising
    their political principles to agree to the outrageous formula which they
    know in their hearts to be completely unsound educationally."

    Last August, Gerakan had rejected the government's proposal for Maths and
    Science to be taught completely in English to young pupils, stating instead
    its recommendation for a gradual introduction of English terminologies in
    the two subjects to be introduced only from Standard Four onwards.

    However, this suggestion failed to convince other parties in the ruling
    coalition, and instead, a compromise was then sought only for Chinese
    primary schools.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    From: monetsunri@aol.com
    Subject: the stupid language switch
    Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 19:14:42 EST

    It's regrettable that some people within the ruling party would do
    violence to the education system, all in the name of face-saving.
    With "patriots" like them, Malaysia doesn't need enemies.

    'Political compromise' to language switch criticised for 'illogic'
    Beh Lih Yi
    5:47pm Fri Nov 1st, 2002

    The alternative implementation for the language switch which was accepted by
    the Barisan Nasional supreme council yesterday is the best example of a
    "political solution" to education issues in the country, an influential
    education group said today.

    "It is obvious, the decision was made from a political angle rather than
    based on education concerns. For us (educationists), the solution is highly
    illogical," Dong Zong deputy president Dr Yap Sin Tian said when contacted.

    He said it is preposterous for primary school pupils to devote more time on
    the two technical subjects than the language itself in the initial stage of

    One-third of timetable

    Chinese primary schools currently have seven periods for Mathematics per
    week in Standard One, and none for English and Science.

    With the new proposal next year, this will increase to a total of 16 periods
    for Maths and Science, and two for English.

    Six periods of Mathematics will be taught in Chinese and another four in
    English. Three periods of Science will be taught in each language.

    This is an additional six periods for the teaching of the two technical
    subjects in Chinese schools compared with national schools.

    "Science and Mathematics will occupy one-third of the school timetable. No
    school in any country will implement such a policy for pupils who are at the
    initial learning stage," he said.

    Yap said a meeting will be held soon with Jiao Zong (United Chinese School
    Teachers Association) to discuss how Chinese primary schools should react to

    Dong Zong president Quek Suan Hiang when contacted declined to elaborate on
    the BN solution beyond confirming the meeting with Jiao Zong.

    Dong Zong (United Chinese School Committees Association Malaysia) and Jiao
    Zong are more well known collectively as Dong Jiao Zong, though Prime
    Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday called them "Dong Dong Dong".

    Waste of time

    Another controversial result of the 'compromise' announced by Mahathir was
    that Chinese primary school pupils would need to sit for Science and
    Mathematics examination papers in both languages.

    This contradicted the Education Ministry's earlier assurance that bilingual
    examination papers will be provided and testing in English will only be made
    compulsory in 2008.

    A parent when contacted said this requirement only goes to show that the new
    proposal would bring in more complications and burden the children.

    "Are they able to implement it? Are teachers willing to take this burden?"
    asked Khoo Kim Seng, a board member of SJKC Kung Ming.

    The father of two children criticised the new policy as a "waste of time"
    since pupils would be going through the syllabi for the two technical
    subjects twice, in two languages.

    "If they decide to have additional classes to enable the language switch,
    why did they never think of using these extra classes for the teaching of
    English itself? This is how we can genuinely 'upgrade English proficiency',"
    he stressed.

    Game politicians play

    Another educationist said the BN Chinese component parties obviously did not
    consider the pupils' welfare when drumming up the proposal.

    "I pity the Standard One pupils. What sort of game (are the politicians
    playing)?" he asked.

    Several teachers when contacted said that they would wait for further
    directive from the ministry on the implementation of language switch.

    The idea of using English to teach Science and Mathematics was first
    proposed by Mahathir in May to arrest the declining command of the language
    among pupils. His initial suggestion of re-establishing English-medium
    schools did not go down well with his own party, Umno.

    However, the language switch proposal was also objected to, by various
    quarters, especially vernacular education groups.

  5. #5
    jeffooi Guest
    Kit Siang mentions about a statement by Datuk Abdul Rafie
    Mahat, the DG of Education Ministry on the issue.

    Mingguan Malaysia carries an interview with the latter November
    3 to prick his thoughts.

    Ahad, 3 November 2002

    Sistem sekolah Malaysia berupaya lahirkan global player -
    Pendidikan kita satu kompromi

    ...yang menjadi perhatian sekarang ialah bagaimanakah pengajaran Matematik dan Sains akan dilaksanakan di sekolah-sekolah dan sejauh mana kesediaan Kementerian Pendidikan.

    Abdul Rafie memahami bahawa beberapa isu mungkin timbul berikutan pelaksanaan pengajaran dwibahasa di SJKC yang tentunya berbeza dengan pengajaran Matematik dan Sains di sekolah-sekolah kebangsaan yang akan hanya dijalankan dalam bahasa Inggeris.

    Katanya: "Kita sedar sistem pendidikan negara akan tidak stabil berikutan perbezaan subsistemnya, ini termasuklah apabila satu subjek yang sama diajar dalam dua kaedah berlainan mengikut aliran sekolah.

    "Tetapi berilah peluang kepada Kementerian Pendidikan dan guru-guru untuk melaksanakan sistem baru ini. Kami yakin kami akan berjaya menanganinya dan mencapai matlamat yang diharapkan.''


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Thumbs up

    From: monetsunri@aol.com
    Reply-To: pahlawan@yahoogroups.com

    The old Chinese adage that "three heads can beat one Chuke
    Liang" is clearly false: all the "wise guys" from UMNO, MCA,
    MIC couldn't come close to a Lim Kit Siang.


    The "2:4:3" formula for English teaching in Std. One in Chinese primary
    schools beginning next year is a pure political contraption and the product
    of compromising politicians who put politics above education and their
    political interests above the interests of the nation and the

    It has no educational merit whatsoever and could never be conceived by
    educationists working solely with the best educational interests of the
    children and the nation in mind, as it is "neither fish nor fowl" and can
    only be the laughing stock of the educational world.

    I challenge the Education Minister, Tan Sri Musa Mohamad to name one country
    which is recognized internationally as a powerhouse in mathematics and
    science which has the ludicrous system of teaching mathematics and science
    in two languages in the first year of primary school!

    That this is politics first and education last is best illustrated from the
    reaction of the director-general of education Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat, who
    said that the Barisan Nasional supreme council's decision was "a purely
    political one", with the Education Ministry now having to work out the
    details of the implementation - options including "teaching the same content
    in both languages, teach some chapters in Chinese and the rest in English or
    teach the syllabus in Chinese and have supplementary teaching of science or
    mathematical terminologies in English". (The Star)

    This is not a recipe for educational excellence but the exact reverse, as
    it is not a formula to maximize the educational potential of Std. One
    school-children to best develop their thinking and academic abilities but to
    impede such a development by loading and confusing them with unsound
    educational baggage - which will result physically in heavier school bags
    with more text books, longer schooling hours to the ridiculous extent that
    Chinese primary school Std. One pupils next year will have the longest
    schooling hours in the country, not only longer than Std. One pupils in
    national and Tamil primary schools but even longer than older students from
    Std. Two to Std. VI.

    But the harm such an unsound educational contraption in impeding the
    attainment of educational excellence of the students in the long-term will
    be greater and more long-lasting than having heavier school bags and longer
    school hours next year.

    In fact, the "2:4:3" formula reached by the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council
    on Thursday for Std. One in Chinese primary schools fails the first test
    to fulfil the dual objective of raising English proficiency and maintaining
    maths/science standards in Chinese primary schools.

    DAP would seriously suggest that all these nine new periods should be
    devoted to teaching English in Std. One for Chinese primary schools if
    there is to be no further modification of the weekly timetable, as there is
    no strong educational case that using English to teach mathematics and
    science from the first year in primary school is the best and most effective
    way to raise the proficiency whether of mathematics, science or English.

    As far back as July and early August, the DAP had tried to bring to the
    notice of the educational authorities extensive educational studies
    world-wide which show that using a second language as a medium of
    instruction from too early stages can impede the development of thinking
    skills of students resulting in low achievements in mathematics, science
    and languages.

    For instance, I had referred to studies by internationally-acknowledged
    educationists and researchers of bilingual education, like J. Cummins, M.
    Swain, M. Saville-Troike and K. Anstrom which show that a unitary
    cognitive academic proficiency (i.e. "thinking skills") underlies all
    language performance, and may be expressed through either the first language
    (L1) or the second language (L2). The "thinking skills" are developed
    primarily through the L1 in the early years, and may then be transferred to
    and expressed in an L2 later on. If a learner's L1 remains underdeveloped,
    then so does that learner's "thinking skills".

    Thus, when that learner attempts to acquire an L2 and pursue studies through
    the medium of an L2, that learner will bring lower "thinking skills" to the
    task and be disadvantaged.

    These studies show that if a learner uses and develops his or her L1 for
    several years, and then moves into an L2 educational system at a later
    stage, that learner will invariably perform better than a learner who
    entered the L2 education system from the very beginning.

    This is why Cummins and Swain, after reviewing extensive research results
    in this field for the past few decades, reached the conclusion that an
    initial period of L1 education is imperative to achieve a higher level of
    mental maturity, which can then be transferred into L2 education.

    These findings are collaborated by the fact that in the long line of world
    distinguished Asian scientists, nearly every Asian Nobel Prize winner in the
    sciences like Chen Ning Yang and Tsung Dao Lee ( both Nobel Prize Physics)
    had their elementary and/or even high school education in their
    mother-tongue, indicating that it is not vital or necessary to learn
    mathematics and science in English in the first year of primary school to
    distinguish in these fields in later life, provided that one acquires
    mastery of the English language in later years.
    DAP was delighted when in mid-August, Gerakan endorsed this approach and the
    Gerakan President, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik announced after the Gerakan
    Central Committee meeting on August 17 that the party had spent a month
    studying the proposal to teach the two subjects in English, including
    referring to 12 books and working papers presented by eminent local and
    foreign academicians on the topic.

    Keng Yaik said that the study revealed that although children in Japan,
    South Korea, Taiwan and Germany learnt the subjects in their own languages,
    countries were still advanced in science and technology. He said most
    studies had shown that a student should first have a strong command of his
    mother tongue to learn Science and Mathematics effectively.

    In fact, South Africa is the best example of a country where the use of
    English to teach mathematics and science instead of the mother tongue has
    ended in an educational disaster. As illustrated by the results of the
    Third International Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS) in 1995 and the
    TIMMS 1999, involving 41 and 38 countries respectively, South Africa came
    out last for mathematics and science in both and this is traced to the use
    of a second language, English, as a medium of instruction from too early
    stages which impeded the development of thinking skills of students
    resulting in low achievements in mathematics and science.

    Unfortunately, such educational insights did not prevent Gerakan leaders
    from compromising their political principles to agree to the outrageous
    "2:4:3" formula which they know in their hearts of hearts as completely
    unsound educationally.

    In the circumstances, DAP calls for all the nine new periods in the "2:4:3"
    formula for Std. One in the Chinese primary schools to be devoted to the
    teaching of English if the 50-period-per-week solution cannot be further
    modified, and this proposal should be seriously considered by both
    Parliament and the Cabinet.

    However, as it is most ridiculous for Std. One pupils in Chinese primary
    schools to be having longer school hours not only when compared to their
    counterparts in national and Tamil primary schools, but even older students
    in Chinese primary schools from Std. II to Std. VI, there should be a
    re-think of the formula in the light of three objectives: to strengthen
    English proficiency, maintain/uplift the traditional high standards in
    mathematics and science and preserve mother-tongue education.

    As a first step, Std. One pupils in Chinese primary schools should not have
    longer school hours than older students from Std. Two to Std. Six, and this
    can be done by increasing all weekly school periods from Std. One to Std.
    Three to 48 periods per week to match the timetable for Std. Four to Std. Six.

    For Std. Two and Std. Three, the three additional periods per week should be
    devoted to teaching English. For Std. One, one ideal time-table which will
    meet the three objectives of strengthening English proficiency, maintaining
    science and mathematics standards and preserving the character of
    mother-tongue education, will be to distribute the 48 periods as follows:

    Bahasa Malaysia 9
    Chinese 14
    English 6
    Mathematics 7
    Science 3
    Moral 2
    Music 2
    PE 2
    Arts 2
    Weekly Assembly 1
    Total 48

    English should only be used as medium of instruction for mathematics and
    science from secondary one.

    The "2:4:3" formula decided by the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council should
    not be the final answer to what is the best educational system for Std. One
    for Chinese primary schools as it fails to meet the triple objectives of
    strengthening English proficiency, maintaining science and mathematics
    standards and preserving the character of mother-tongue education, and
    should be regarded as the starting point for a fuller national discussion
    and debate by Parliament, the Cabinet and the civil society.

    - Lim Kit Siang -

  7. #7
    jeffooi Guest
    New Straits Times:
    Use Sedition Act on BN leaders who 'double-speak'

    Tuesday, November 5, 2002

    Sedition posing as dissension

    THERE is something profoundly disturbing about the prolonged drama on the use of English in the teaching of Mathematics and Science being played out by certain groups, including those in the Barisan Nasional’s Chinese-based component parties.

    ...It is easy to suggest that such people be ignored and that every society has its extreme fringe which is also entitled to its views. But the point is that these very people are leaders in the mainstream. Some are leaders at Barisan Nasional's top echelon. But they doublespeak — an art perfected by self-serving politicians whose agenda is the preservation of their political mortality.

    They profess to agree, citing national interests as the rationale behind the move to use English in the teaching of Mathematics and Science. But behind closed doors and in a display of cringing toadyism to the cultural chauvinists who lend them political support, they disagree — citing cultural interests.

    Maybe this is an idiosyncracy of a few but they are, unfortunately, vested with authority in the party and community.

    To deprive schoolchildren of adequate English-language skills is to handicap tomorrow's Malaysians. The nation's progress is at stake. We must be far-sighted and keep abreast of the challenges of liberalisation and globalisation. By continuing to harp on the issue, these minority groups are fomenting dissent and divisiviness. By all means, they should be charged with sedition.

    Last edited by jeffooi; 05-11-2002 at 10:06 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    I guess those making these policies really do not have children. These childrens future will be the product of their policies.

    In addition to the english language being the door to the world of knowledge ..globalisation.... Look at our syllabus that we are teaching in schools ...is there anything global there... history, geography ..blah blah.

    Somewhere there is a gut feeling inside that tells me that this issue goes deeper than what is projected. Not everyone is laying all their cards on the table.

    It is sad isn't it ?... I cry for my kids

    I am confused, sad, angry and just hope there would be some divine intervention that I will be able to make the right decision on my kids education....my kids future !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002


    These politikus can be in and out when time is up. The education system will be there for ever.

    Tens of years ago they abolished English completely. Now they say it is sorry that was wrong ! Who is accountable ? Just saying sorry is enough ?

    Now English is used to replace ones' mother tongue. It is known to be an insane move by all the conscious people. Some years later, some other politikus is sure to cry "sorry" for that. What a vicious circle that haunting our country since independence !!

    Let's do something to cut it out !

  10. #10
    jeffooi Guest
    Thursday, November 07, 2002

    Free hand on how Maths and Science will be taught in English

    KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese schools will have a free hand in deciding on the method of teaching Mathematics and Science in English from next year provided that it is in line with what has been decided by the Cabinet.

    Announcing this yesterday, Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad said the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah papers for the two subjects would be bilingual until 2007.

    “The Cabinet has accepted what was decided (by the Barisan Nasional last week),” he said, adding that for the two subjects there would be one official curriculum in English.

    He said the Chinese content would be a translation of that in English.

    However, it had not been decided whether the UPSR papers would be entirely in English or bilingual from 2008 when the first batch of pupils to study the subjects in English sit for the assessment.

    “For the next five years, the papers will be bilingual and pupils can choose to answer in either Chinese or English. The questions will also be in both languages,” Musa told reporters after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting.

    ...Musa said that national schools would continue to have a total of seven periods a week for Mathematics while Chinese schools would have 10 from next year.

    “I am sure the syllabus can be taught in 10 periods.

    “How they do it is up to them. The ministry will not impose any guidelines,” he said.

    ...Education director-general Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat had said on Friday that the ministry would work out a “professional formula” this week following the Barisan’s “political” decision.

    When asked to comment on the various options available, he said that Chinese schools could teach the same content in both languages; teach some chapters in Chinese and the rest in English; or teach the syllabus in Chinese and have supplementary teaching of Science or Mathematics terminology in English.


  11. #11
    jeffooi Guest
    Tuesday, November 12, 2002

    Dong Jiao Zong:
    English proposal a disaster for Chinese schools

    Koh Lay Chin

    KAJANG, Nov 11: Chinese educationist movement Dong Jiao Zong opposes the use of English to teach Science and Mathematics, and in UPSR examination for these subjects
    from 2008, as it will mean a “disaster” for national-type Chinese schools.

    Dong Zong president Quek Suan Hiang said the movement could not accept the move as it would ultimately spell the end of Chinese schools in the country.

    Speaking after a meeting of the United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia (Dong Zong) and United Chinese School Teacher Association of Malaysia (Jiao Zong), Quek said the different statements from ministers and leaders had "blurred the situation" beyond comprehension.

    Dong Jiao Zong also released a statement, saying it was disappointed that an education issue had become a "political issue".

    It said the decision made by the Barisan Nasional supreme council was not only against the norms and principles of education, but also against the wishes of the people.

    The movement said while it fully supported the Government's stand to improve the standard of English, the move was opposed to the worldwide trend of education development which strived for "diversity, democracy and higher access to education".

    On the 2-4-3 formula decided by the BN supreme council, the movement said it put pressure on education as English, Science and Mathematics occupied 78 per cent of total teaching time.

    "It not only increases the problems of imbalance in the subject structure faced by Chinese schools, but neglects the needs of children in physical and spiritual development," it said.

    It also said the formula (two periods of English, four periods of Mathematics in English and three periods of Science in English per week) raised many problems as each school with six Standard One classes would have 30 teaching periods, and would need more teachers.

    "However, the Education Minister on Nov 1 said Chinese schools would have to decide teacher distribution themselves for the two subjects, and that it would not increase the number of teachers. This will cause more problems with teacher shortage," it said.

    According to the formula, Chinese schools would have five periods or 150 minutes more teaching time, compared to national schools or national-type Tamil schools, it said.

    "This means students would be under more pressure, including longer teaching times, compared to students of other schools.

    "In 2008, when Science and Mathematics in the UPSR are conducted in English, Chinese schools will only have the Chinese language paper conducted in Chinese," it said.

    Quek said the movement was of the opinion that if the "unworkable" formula was implemented by force, time would prove its failure.

    He said the movement was also disappointed that they were not consulted by the Government and wanted the Chinese-based political parties to voice their views.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    my first kid will be going to primary 1 in 2004, smack into the moronic bilingual science & maths idea. looking at it (with an ever growing feeling of despair), i see it going either way - this kid can either turn out to be a genius, having mastered two difficult subjects in two languages, or i'd better have more inheritance for him when he leaves school with a trail of red marks behind him. I'm praying like mad, believe me. a primary school student is a very young child still. i don't understand the workings of politics most of the time but this i know, i do resent my children being guinea pigs to ministers seeking glory in their terms, trying to go down in history as the person who made a radical change. will they themselves sit thru the kind of lessons they want to implement? otherwise, do keep these silly ideas out of the education system, bad enough the way it is. yes, ideas must be given chances to be proven but ideas that have been carried out and failed elsewhere is now tried here, with a fresh batch of kids for experiment? what happened to learning from others' mistakes??

  13. #13
    jeffooi Guest


    Commentator James Wong lists 15 pertinent questions on implementation issues...

    5:53pm Tue Nov 12th, 2002

    Language switch: more sadness than joy
    James Wong Wing On

    After meeting twice, the Barisan Nasional supreme council has made a second
    'final' decision on the language switch controversy.

    ...The prevalence of such dissatisfaction is perhaps negatively confirmed by
    the warning given by Abdullah (Badawi) that "those who continue harping on the
    government's decision to use English to teach Science and Mathematics will
    be charged with sedition".

    If the majority is satisfied, there is no need for a threatening gag order,
    is there?

    Despite these unilateral claims or assertions that the issue has been
    "settled", the influential Chinese educationist group, Dong Jiao Zong,
    yesterday came out publicly to oppose BN's decision.

    So, who else are unhappy with the second 'final' decision?
    • First and foremost, the parents whose children in Chinese primary schools
      will have to duplicate the learning of Mathematics and Science in two
    • Second, parents of all races who hold the opinion that learning English
      through Mathematics and Science is not an effective way and means to improve
      children's knowledge and command of English vocabulary, grammar, sentence
      construction and speech skills.
    • Third, Chinese primary school teachers who worry that their workload may
      increase without any corresponding upward adjustment of salaries and
    • Fourth, rural or semi-rural parents, mostly Malay and Indian Malaysians, who
      feel that their geo-cultural environment is not conducive for their children
      to learn the two technical subjects in English. And they, being ignorant in
      the language, will be unable to teach their children at home, or monitor the
      academic progress of their children.
    • Fifth, parents and Chinese cultural and language groups who worry that the
      test or examination papers of Science and Mathematics in Chinese primary
      schools would be set in English to discourage the use and study of Chinese.
    • Sixth, English-educated and English-speaking liberals who actually support
      the language switch but think that the ruling parties are irrational and
      emotional with regard to the debate, and also high-handed and deceitful in
      obtaining support.
    • Seventh, language experts and groups in the Malay, Chinese and Indian
      communities who feel that their professional and expert opinions have been
    • Eighth, the rank and file of MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and SAPP who feel insulted
      and humiliated by the charges of 'extremism' leveled against some prominent
      Chinese community leaders and organisations by some Umno leaders and the
      Umno-controlled newspapers in the past few months.
    • Ninth, middle-ranking MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and SAPP leaders who are secretly
      disgusted at the hostile attacks launched against their parties by editors,
      columnists and writers in the Umno-controlled media.
    • Tenth, some top MCA leaders, ideologues and strategists who feel that Umno
      should not have used 'illegitimate' Team B leaders, Prime Minister Dr
      Mahathir Mohamad's Chinese secretariat and the Federation of Chinese Guilds
      and Associations to undermine MCA's 'legitimate authority' in BN.
    • Eleventh, Umno's rank and file who are still very nationalistic and see the
      language switch as an erosion of the status of Malay as the official
      language, or under pressure from Malay Malaysian parents in the rural or
      semi-rural areas.
    • Twelfth, Umno hard-liners who feel that their top leadership has
      'compromised' too much with MCA and other Chinese-based parties, and
      'succumbed' to their Chinese-based parties' pressure, causing a steady
      erosion of Umno's 'dignity' as a party that upholds the ideology of
    • Thirteenth, Malaysian liberals of all races and age groups who dislike
      government leaders resorting to threats to use repressive laws like the
      Internal Security Act and Sedition Act to silence legitimate dissent.
    • Fourteenth, Anglophiles and non-Chinese educated leaders, members,
      sympathisers and followers of MCA, Gerakan, SUPP and SAPP who see their
      parties being politically too 'Chinese' in the past few months.
    • Fifteenth, leaders, members, supporters and sympathisers of opposition
      parties who see the proposal and counter-proposals made by BN component
      parties without consultation with them and the wider civil society as
      examples of 'arrogance of power'.

    Who then is happy with the decision?

    The answer is rather simple: unelected bureaucrats and advisers in the
    Education Ministry and the Prime Minister's Department who got their
    salaried jobs done.

    Also basking in joy are the suppliers of courseware, textbooks, computers
    and language training courses who have already signed commercial contracts
    with the government.
    JAMES WONG WING ON is chief analyst of Strategic Analysis Malaysia (SAM)
    which produces the subscriber-based political report, Analysis Malaysia.
    Wong is a former member of parliament (1990-1995) and a former columnist for
    the Sin Chew Jit Poh Chinese daily. He read political science and economics
    at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. While in Sin Chew, he and
    a team of journalists won the top awards of Malaysian Press Institute (MPI)
    for 1998 and 1999.


  14. #14
    jeffooi Guest
    Thursday, November 14, 2002

    Ministry to work out language for UPSR Maths and Science

    KUALA LUMPUR: The language to be used in the UPSR Mathematics and Science papers for Chinese schools from 2008 will only be known after the Education Ministry decides on how the subjects will be taught from Year Four.

    At present, the maximum 50 periods a week allocated are used up from Year Four in Chinese schools, with the introduction of Living Skills and Local Studies subjects at that level.

    This leaves the schools no extra periods for teaching Mathematics and Science in both Chinese and English.

    “(A decision on the language of the exam papers) will depend on the number of hours the subjects are taught in the two languages from Year Four.

    “We will have to work it out,” Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad told reporters after chairing his ministry’s post-Cabinet meeting yesterday.

    Asked when the ministry would come to a decision on timetabling for the subjects at Year Four, Musa said there was no need to come up with an immediate solution as it would be three years before the first batch of students affected entered that level.

    Commenting on the Dong Jiao Zong’s opposition to the use of English to teach the subjects in Chinese schools, Musa said the Cabinet’s decision was final and there was “no turning back.”

    He also said national and Tamil schools would not face any timetabling problems as the subjects would be taught entirely in English.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    "what happened to learning from others' mistakes??"
    1st there is practice makes perfect

    then u have history repeats itself

    what do u do when u learn others' mistakes?

    omigosh i sure love these maxims. they end up with perfect repeat mistake makers. i'm sure u know lots of big bums out there who've proven this theory. :P

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