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
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)。