To Improve The Standard Of English To Maintain Our International Competitiveness, The Education Ministry Should Consider To Make it Compulsory to Pass the English Language Paper in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia(SPM) And That A Credit Is Essential To Obtain Grade 1 In SPM.(en/cn)

Press Statement By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 6.6.2012.

To Improve The Standard Of English To Maintain Our International Competitiveness, The Education Ministry Should Consider To Make it Compulsory to Pass the English Language Paper in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia(SPM) And That A Credit Is Essential To Obtain Grade 1 In SPM.

To improve the standard of English to maintain our international competitiveness, the Education Ministry should consider to make it compulsory to pass the English language paper in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia(SPM) and that a credit is essential to obtain Grade 1 in SPM.

The widely acknowledged weakening of the English language proficiency in Malaysia continues to weaken our global competitiveness in science, technology and the economy. The Ministry of Education’s latest attempt to improve English language proficiency is the policy to “Uphold Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthen the English Language” (MBMMBI), which serves to replace and reverse the policy of the“Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English” (PPSMI).

MBMMBI aims to increase the quality of both Bahasa Malaysia and the English language. Strategies include increasing the numbers of hours for the teaching and learning of both languages, encouraging teachers of respective languages to attend enhancement courses, strengthening the respective language curriculum, and using information technology via relevant software and internet portals to facilitate the teaching and learning of both languages.

However, there continues to be a disparity between both languages as students must achieve at least a passing grade in Bahasa Malaysia in order to receive their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and to enter public institutions of higher learning, but there is no requirement to pass the English language at any level of the Malaysian school system.

MBMMBI cannot arrest the weakening of English language proficiency if the Ministry of Education does not also make a passing grade in the English language as a pre-requisite to qualify for SPM. Requirements for SPM will be increased from the year 2013 with students needing to pass both Bahasa Malaysia and History to qualify. However, a passing grade in the English language is still not compulsory.

In its National Education Policy, the Ministry of Education has acknowledged that English is the global language of communication and language of knowledge that Malaysians must master in order to compete nationally and globally. However, this is not reflected in the allocation of teaching hours and the Ministry does not give incentive for students to improve their command of the English language.

Currently, National Schools are allowed an allocation of up to 360 minutes per week for the teaching and learning of Bahasa Malaysia and up to 300 minutes per week for the teaching and learning of the English language, whilst National-type Schools are allowed an allocation of up to 300 minutes per week for the teaching and learning of Bahasa Malaysia and up to 150 minutes per week for the teaching and learning of the English language. Making a passing grade in the English language compulsory to qualify for SPM and that a credit is required for Grade 1, would give students the incentive to put in extra effort to improve their English language proficiency.

Creating this incentive for students is necessary if the Ministry of Education is committed to strengthening English language proficiency. Or else Malaysia will lose out in future competitiveness with deteriorating standards in English when other countries are improving theirs.

Lim Guan Eng

—–Mandarin Version—-

民主行动党秘书长林冠英于2012年6月6日在吉隆坡发表声明:

若要改善提升国人的英语水平,维持我们的国际竞争力、教育部应该考虑规定英文科为大马教育文凭考试(SPM)的必须及格科目,而且列英文科优等为获取一等文凭的资格。

若要改善提升国人的英语水平,维持我们的国际竞争力、教育部应该考虑规定英文科为大马教育文凭考试(SPM)的必须及格科目,而且列英文科优等为获取一等文凭的资格。

马来西亚的英文水平低落已是公认的事实,这将继续削弱我国在科学、工艺及经济方面的国际竞争力。教育部最近在提升英文水平政策方面推出 “巩固国语和加强英语政策(MBMMBI)”,以取代英语教数理政策 (PPSMI)。

巩固国语和加强英语政府的目标再于提升国语及英文。政策包括增加两种语文的教学时间、鼓励这两个语文的教课老师参加提升课程、加强语文外面的课外活动,利用资讯工艺通过相关软体及网站促进上述双语的教学。

但是,这两个语文还是有其悬殊之处,因为学生的国文科必须及格才能够获得大马教育文凭,并进入高等学府升学,但是,在马来西亚教育制度里,并没有任何教育要求英文必须及格。

如果教育部不把英文科列为大马教育文凭考试的必须及格科目,那么“巩固国语和加强英语政策”将无法提升英文。2013年起,教育部规定大马教育文凭考生必须国文及历史科及格,但是,英文科还没有被列为必须及格的科目。

在国家教育政策中,教育部已经承认英文是全球通讯及知识语文,马来西亚人民必须掌握英文才能在国内外竞争。但是,这并没有反映在教学时间,教育部也没有通过奖励学生来提升本身的英文水平。

最近,国民学校允许每周360分钟来国文教学,300分钟用于英文教学,而国民型学校则允许每周300分钟国文教学、150分钟英文教学。把英文列为大马教育文凭考试必须及极科目、英文优等为取得第一等文凭的必须条件,才能激发学生努力考好英文、提升英文水平。

如果教育部立志提升英文水平, 他们必须奖励学生,在其它国家的英文水平提升的同时,否则马来西亚将会因英文水平下跌而失去未来的国际竞争力。

林冠英

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