Malaysiakini News

Teaching Science, Maths in English will affect nature of Chinese schools: Ting

Beh Lih Yi  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Teaching Science and Mathematics in English will change the nature of Chinese primary schools, said MCA secretary-general Dr Ting Chew Peh at the party's 49th annual general assembly in Kuala Lumpur today.

"All of us agreed with the effort to improve the proficiency of English, so the government has proposed the usage of English in teaching Science and Mathematics," he said.

But this will change the nature of Chinese primary schools and cause a great impact on the running of the schools, he added when taking a delegate's question during the question-and- answer session.

Ting, who is also the party education bureau chairperson, outlined two possible scenarios.

"Their (the students) English may improve but their results for the two subjects may decline. If this happens, the gain is not worth the loss.

"Or their results for all the three subjects may be affected. In this case, the schools will not gain anything at all," he said.

The MCA leader said a lengthier study should be conducted before implementing the proposal, and also include the consideration of the Chinese community and educationists.

He also explained that Mandarin was the administrative language used in these schools and the language is also the teaching medium.

"Therefore, if we use English, the character of Chinese primary schools will be affected," he said.

Clear message

The debate also saw other party delegates voicing their objection towards the government's proposal to teach the two subjects in English

A delegate from Johor, Phang Tian Hock urged the government to hear the voice of the Chinese community on this issue.

"We have delivered our message very clearly, we insist on the use of Mandarin as the medium of teaching in these schools," he said.

"Party leaders who are not clear on their stand have caused members to be confused. Our worry is that once the party leaders agree [to the implementation], they will tell us this is a 'peace and stability' formula," he added.

The delegates also claimed that students from Chinese primary schools do not lag behind as far as proficiency in English is concerned.

In view of this, they argued, that there was no need for the new policy.

However, a minority of delegates supported the policy saying it will enable them to face the challenges of globalisation.

The government said the new policy will be implemented in phases beginning next year.

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