| Robert Kenneth |
KUCHING (Bernama) – The use of English in the teaching of Science and Mathematics is of paramount importance because of its dominance in the world’s scientific community, notes Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
He thus, lauded former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s initiative in 2003 to teach Science and Mathematics in English to arrest the declining proficiency of Malaysian students.
He pointed out the decline at that time was attributed, partly to an earlier policy of designating Malay as the medium of instruction, which was believed to have effectively limited the ability to absorb and transmit scientific knowledge.
“However, in 2009, the Malaysian Education Ministry announced the decision to reverse the six-year experiment of teaching Science and Mathematics to school students in English, citing research findings which showed low levels of proficiency among both teachers and students, particularly those from rural or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
“The teachers’ inability to effectively communicate the scientific and mathematical concepts led to low levels of participation, and a lack of enthusiasm in Science and Mathematics subjects,” said Adenan.
He said this in a speech text read by Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office, Datuk Len Talif Salleh who represented the chief minister at the opening of the 16th International Organisation for Science and Technology Education Symposium Borneo 2014 here today.
Adenan urged the participants to share their experience of teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in their own countries with other participants from 18 countries who are attending the seven-day symposium, beginning Sept 21.
He urged the local delegates to establish linkages with their international counterparts and work together through research and development on the growth of science and technology education.