Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bilingual Option for Students and Teachers

KUALA LUMPUR: All Year One pupils in national schools next year will be studying Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia.
They will not be given a choice to answer in English for school tests and public examinations as they progress through the years. Their textbooks would also be in Bahasa Malaysia, said Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom.

Those entering Form One and Form Four next year will be given the option to study Science and Maths either in Bahasa Malaysia or English. Their textbooks, however, will be in English.

"If the students are ready to be taught in Bahasa Malaysia, then the teacher can teach the two subjects in Bahasa Malaysia. If they are not ready, then the teacher can teach in English or opt to teach in both languages.

"Through the 'soft landing' approach, the change in the medium of instruction for the teaching of Science and Maths will be done gradually to accommodate the variability in students' and teachers' readiness," Alimuddin told the New Sunday Times.

He said the process of transition will be done in stages (refer to transition table).

Alimuddin added that the switch to Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction for Science and Maths would apply to national schools, whereas in SJKs (national-type schools), the switch would be to their mother tongues -- Mandarin in SJKC and Tamil in SJKT respectively.

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