The Education Ministry is still studying the possibility of using two languages to teach Science and Mathematics in schools, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Tuesday.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the study was necessary to determine whether the dual language system could be introduced to any school without causing problems.
The study is being carried out by a sub-committee headed by director-general of education Datuk Abdul Ghafar Mahmud and is in line with the government policy of upholding Bahasa Malaysia while strengthening English.
“What matters most in our new policy is strengthening command of English,” he told reporters after presenting prizes to the winners of the National Creative Science and Mathematics Competition 2011 here.
Last April, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the government would seek inputs from parents before deciding on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English in schools.
Najib had said the Education Ministry would also study if it was possible for the subjects to be taught in English in selected schools without interrupting the teaching and learning process.
Muhyiddin said the ministry could not make a hasty decision and must carry out a detailed study, taking into consideration several suggestions from various quarters.
He said the ministry was now focusing on the best ways to improve command of English in schools.
“This matter really needs in-depth study. We don’t want to implement it without having well-trained teachers because we may not get the result we had hoped for,” he said.
Muhyiddin said that detailed studies needed to be carried out, covering such matters as teacher training and posting, duration for students to learn English, books and curriculums.
He also said that 50 English language teachers from the United States would arrive in Malaysia next year under the Fulbright English Teaching System programme.
He said the first batch of teachers would teach and guide their Malaysian counterparts, while the second batch would teach English at selected schools nationwide.