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The online plea from tens of thousands of people shows that the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy needs to be re-looked, said Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE).
Its chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said there was a huge support for the policy to continue on the Facebook group “1M Malaysians say YES to PPSMI as an OPTION”, as well as related blogs and websites.
The Facebook group has registered over 94,000 people as at 8.30pm yesterday.
Noor Azimah said she acknowledged the concern expressed by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin over the lack of proficient English teachers.
“However, teachers should be able to teach in both languages as they have been teaching the subjects in English since the introduction of PPSMI in 2003,” she said.
Noor Azimah said that if the number of schools that chose English was small, then it would be easier to provide the teachers.
She added that the reasons should be addressed head-on and not swept under the carpet.
PAGE has also started a “Yes to PPSMI option” on its website.
PAGE will be handing an appeal letter on the matter to the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at his office in Putrajaya today, and the movement urged parents to turn up for support.
Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Azwanddin Hamzah said Muhyiddin should have called for a discussion with JMM and PAGE before making a final decision.
“We (JMM and PAGE) are not doing this for personal interest, but for all parents in Malaysia,” he said.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said that while she did not deny the importance of English, there would be many constraints in having a dual system in schools.
“Implementing both the Uphol-ding Bahasa Melayu and Strengthening the English Language (MBM-MBI) policy; as well as PPSMI, in schools would involve massive cost and a lot of changes to the school structure.
“I support the fact that we have to enhance English proficiency among our students, but in this case, we have to look at the statistics and feedback from the ground which shows that not all children can cope with learning Science and Maths in English,” she said.