By Hamidah Atan
PUTRAJAYA: The scrapping of the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy on a "soft landing" basis will be done in stages, beginning 2012.
Clarifying a recent statement he made on the policy, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said many parents were still unclear of the soft landing mechanism the ministry would adopt with regard to the teaching of Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia.
"We have to adopt soft landing approaches so that transition from the old policy to the new one can take place smoothly and do not shock our children in their learning process," he said.
The government recently reverted to the use of BM in the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics, instead of English. PPSMI was mooted by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2003.
The scrapping of PPSMI would start in stages, starting 2012 for Year 1, Year 4, Form 1 and Form Four. Form Six and matriculation students are not involved.
As for soft landing mechanism to implement the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in BM, Muhyiddin said both subjects would be taught in English and BM for national schools and mother tongue languages for vernacular schools, beginning 2010.
"Teaching and learning of the two subjects for Year 4 in 2012, 2013 and 2014, Year 5 in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and Year 6 in 2014, 2015 and 2016 will be implemented in dual languages."
He said students sitting for Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) would be provided options to answer questions either in English or BM till 2016.
"Teaching and learning of the two subjects for Form 4 in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and Form 5 in 2013, 2014 and 2015 will also be conducted in both languages.
"Therefore, questions for Science and Mathematics in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination will continue to be set in BM and English till 2015."
Muhyiddin stressed that the government would allow the present cohorts of students affected or "trapped" by the change in policy to study both subjects in both BM and English.
"If you are well-versed in English, then answer the exam questions in English or vice-versa. The cabinet was informed of the decision last week," he added.
|Muhyiddin (left) and Alimuddin (right) at the press conference in Putrajaya. Pix by Afendi Mohamed.|