Maths And Science to be Taught in English in Sarawak’s Primary Schools

The land of hornbills, Sarawak, is going to be the first state in Malaysia to teach the subjects that often changed its medium language, Mathematics and Science, in English soon.

According to The Borneo Post, Education Minister Maszlee Malik said the Sarawak state government agreed that English will be used to teach Maths and Science. This was an earlier suggestion made by the Prime Minister.

“Sarawak will help the Ministry of Education in implementing the system and to train teachers so that they will be able to teach these subjects in English.

“We would like to thank the state government of Sarawak for their response towards the Prime Minister’s ideas,” he said.

He gave his statement after meeting with the Cheif Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the Chief Minister’ office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Kuching on Wednesday (Apr 24).

The minister added that teachers will be local Sarawakians. All of them will be given training in local institutions and universities to enable them to teach in English.

However, the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Micheal Manyin Jawong said the English language implementation process would “definitely be an uphill battle”.

“To train teachers to teach in English is not that easy but it will have to start somewhere,” he said.

Micheal added that Sarawak universities and institutions have been conducting Mathematics and Science classes in English all this while.

He stated that they have trained more than 400 teachers who just completed their training in order to teach the duo subjects in English at primary schools.

“Some of them will become trainers in their own respective districts,” he said.

Besides changing the language, the government decided to loan RM1 billion to Sarawak to recondition the schools there.

The Star reported that the Education Ministry made an agreement with the state government that the RM1 billion loan will be used to repair poor school conditions within the state.

Maszlee said both parties agreed to fine-tune the channelling of the funds and implementation of projects to ensure that this will be carried out in an orderly and transparent manner.

“All of this is done for the benefit of students in Sarawak so that they can learn in a comfortable and conducive environment,” he said on the same day.

Maszlee had said in February that the federal government had agreed that the loan repayment from the state government would be used to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak.

However, the federal government changed its mind this month, dismissing the deal and insisted the RM1 billion loan will be taken as an “advance payment” which will be owed by the state.

Finally, we are back to the glory day of Dr Mahathir’s brainchild − Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik Dalam Bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI). At least for the state of Sarawak for now.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think all states should follow suit? Let us know in the comments below. 

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