Schools ordered to revert to using BM to teach Science, Maths, MP claims
KUCHING: Attempts have been made by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to change the medium of instruction in the teaching of Mathematics and Science from English to Bahasa Melayu (BM).
This was revealed by Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, who wondered what had happened to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s advocacy of the importance of English.
“In the past one year, Adenan has rightly advocated the importance of English language and asserted that the state government would stand firm on the emphasis on English language in schools in Sarawak.
“However of late, it has come to my knowledge that secondary schools in Sarawak are reverting to using BM to teach Mathematics and Science,” he read from his letter to Adenan during a press conference here yesterday.
Chong, also Kota Sentosa assemblyman and state DAP chairman, claimed most secondary schools in the state, which previously taught the two subjects in English, were pressured by the ministry to use BM.
The common excuses used by the ministry to revert the teaching medium to BM were ‘not enough qualified teachers’, ‘students could comprehend better if these subjects were taught in BM’ and that ‘there was a need to improve the command of BM’, he said.
The teaching of Mathematics and Science in English, he said, was implemented in early 2000s and the training of teachers for that purpose had been carried out since.
After more than 10 years of implementation, he felt there was no reason for a shortage of teachers capable of teaching the two subjects in English.Chong believed that there were sufficient qualified teachers and that “it is just a matter of proper assignment of teachers to the job in question.”
“The government can also always re-engage these retired teachers as temporary teachers while the existing ones are sent for proper re-training courses.”
Noting that the command of English among the younger generation had deteriorated over the past decades, Chong said Adenan, as the chief minister, “is in a position to stop the decline of the standard of English among our future generation”.
Chong said less than 10 secondary schools in the state were conducting Mathematics and Science lessons in English. He added that most of these schools were private schools where the government did not have much of a say.