Plans to have primary and secondary students in Malaysia use only English in their exams for science and mathmatics have been put on hold. Instead, the government’s current policy of allowing students to answer in English, Bahasa Malaysia, or the language of their school (such as “Chinese” or Tamil) will remain in force for at least a few more years, Malaysian Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein announced earlier this week.
The teaching of science and math in English has been phased in over several years.
Hishammuddin said secondary students would also continue to have the dual-language option although many of them have a “decent command” of English.
He said the weak students were mostly from the rural areas.
“I will not do things on an ad hoc and piecemeal basis. I want to do it (using English) as a whole.
“I want the foundation to be solid (at the primary level) before we look at the secondary schools,” he said.
He added, however, that many secondary students chose to do the papers in English.
Citing matriculation students, he said 95% of them did their papers in English.
- Hisham: Exams to remain bilingual, the Star, October 31, 2007
- ‘English only’ ruling for Maths and Science in secondary schools put on hold, the Star, October 29, 2007
see also teaching in English in Malaysia, Pinyin News, February 3, 2006