Improve English with vocabulary and grammar, not maths and science

By Neville Spykerman and Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani.

SHAH ALAM, March 10- The Movement Opposing the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (GMP), which held a street demonstration on Saturday has an ally in DAP’s Teresa Kok.

Kok, who is both the Seputeh MP and Kinrara assemblyman, said that rural pupils from all races were severely handicapped by the policy.

“Imagine, these children are trying to cope with the ABC and have the added burden of learning maths and science in a language foreign to them.”

The Selangor executive council member said contrary to media statements from the government, parents of rural pupils had opposed the policy, introduced six years ago, from day one.

She said the results of pupils from rural areas, for both subjects, have not improved since then.

However she stressed that while the deteriorating standard of English must be tackled, she was opposed to the methodology used by the Education Ministry.

Using her own experience, Kok said she only made a switch to learning maths and science in English in Form three, after obtaining a foundation in the language.

“GMP does not oppose more English classes and I believe the language should be improved with greater emphasis on grammar, vocabulary and even literature.”

On Saturday, GMP gathered at the National Mosque and planned to march to Istana Negara to present a memorandum to the King to seek a return to the use of Bahasa Malaysia for the teaching of science and mathematics.

However the march was stalled after riot police fired tear gas at more than 3,000 demonstrators and it was reported that 124 people were also arrested.

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