As the Cabinet ponders on this serious issue that will affect thousands of Malaysian children, it is good to note that the Education Ministry has listened to the views of the stakeholders such as the parents, the teachers and the school administrators.
The teachers have made their views known as based on this malaysiakini article
NUTP: Switch to English from Form 1, not Standard 1, they feel the medium change should be done in secondary school.
The switch back to English was made just before TDM retired and it must have come as a major shock to both teachers and students and I believe some teachers had more of a shock than some pupils who were familiar with using English.
All my children except one in University have completed school and they all used English as the medium in Singapore. Maybe I will relate my own experience during my school days in Malaysia between 1955 to 1966. English was the medium of instruction in the major schools and we did accept a few students in Secondary One from remove class and vernacular schools. These poor chaps had to struggle to cope with the language.
Therefore this suggestion by the NUTP will not help those who can progress faster with the English language and the Education Ministry is going to have the most difficult problem of trying to please all the interested parties.
Since feedback has been obtained from both parents and teachers, I suggest the Ministry can use the following to suit all the various demands.
1.There must be a definite plan to use English as the medium of instruction for Science and Maths by Darjah 4 in all schools. Secondary One is too late.
2.More teachers must become proficient to teach in English and definite targets should be set.
3.In any town with a few national schools, some will continue to teach in English and the rest can revert to BM or POL as selected by schools.
4.Parents will be able to choose which school they want their children to attend.
Of course it won't be easy to achieve such a scheme but I feel reverting back to the old scheme will not improve the standard of English that has sunk to new lows in recent years.
POL(Pupil's Own Language)