Posts Tagged ‘PPSMI


Not a surprise that our students are weak in Science and Maths

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has done it again.

We have once again ranked poorly in education, coming in at number 52 out of 76 countries according to the findings released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which ranked countries based on the performance of 15-year-old students in Science and Maths.

In fact, we ranked lower than Vietnam (12), Ukraine (38), Kazakhstan 49), Turkey (41), UAE (45), Iran (51) and Thailand (47).

On the other end of the spectrum, Singapore came out tops, topping the rankings and beating Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, United Kingdom and the United States.

Parent Action Group for Education chair Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim told Theantdaily that the root cause of the problem was the teachers.

“Most of the current batch of teachers are a product of local universities. Thus, their degrees in Science and Maths would be from these universities. Maybe the teaching and learning of these subjects should be looked into.

“The current batch of teachers are a product of the era where Science and Maths were taught in Bahasa Malaysia, while the text books were in English. These were the complaints we received from some of the teachers concerned. We must realise that the lingua franca of these subjects is English,” she said.

Due to these factors, said Noor Azimah, the teaching of Science and Maths too would not be efficient.

“When we have these graduates teaching in schools, the teaching is not as efficient as it should be as the teaching and learning was not effective when they were undergraduates.

“Their mediocrity spilled over,” she said.

Noor Azimah also pointed out that it didn’t help matters that the language of the Internet for Science and Maths is English.

17 May 2015 –
Not a surprise that our students are weak in Science and Maths


Poor English proficiency: Why is Muhyiddin baffled and surprised?

PETALING JAYA: English is the lingua franca of the world and having a good command of it, especially as the world becomes increasingly borderless and with most literature available on the Internet being in English, would put one in good stead on the world stage.

But if the teaching hours of the subject is halved in schools, how can you blame graduates for having a poor command of the said language, especially since English is not the language most Malaysians speak at home?

Which is why Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairperson Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim is surprised that Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, is reportedly “baffled” over the continued poor command of English among students.

Noor Azimah said students would have shown a marked improvement in English proficiency today had the PPSMI (the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English) policy not been abolished in 2009.

“You can see that students from schools that had pursued PPSMI are at an advantage in universities. In fact, university lecturers themselves have shared this with us.

“Now with a higher Malaysian University English Test (MUET) score for entrance into public universities, students from schools which abolished PPSMI are now suffering due to the lack of vision on the part of the principals who on their own opted for Bahasa Malaysia without consulting parents and students,” she said.

After 2009, the PPSMI policy was in its “soft-landing” stage, which meant that the last batch of students in Year One in 2010 would have the “option” of learning Science and Mathematics in English until they reach Form Five in 2020.

This is apparently according to a Nov 4, 2011 circular issued by the Education Ministry.

It is understood however that school principals were the ones making the final decision on the medium of instruction that would be used, with no input from students or parents.

“With PPSMI, the students were supposed to learn scientific English and at the same time converse in the language during lessons. When you take that away from them, of course they will suffer as they are unable to practice the language anymore.

“Under PPSMI, 40 per cent of the subject lessons were taught in English. With the abolition of the policy, exposure to English in lessons is only 20 per cent. If it’s cut in half, how can it be better?” asked Noor Azimah.

Muhyiddin had reportedly said that there is “something not right” when students are still struggling with English when they enter universities as they should have been able to master basic English during their time in school.

“When they enter university, English should no longer be a problem and the focus should be on up-scaling, polishing and improving their command of the language,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying.

The minister said he did not know the root cause of the problem as the students spend up to 19 years learning English, adding that it could be due to the quality of teachers and interest of students.

Muhyiddin said Bahasa Malaysia should not be blamed for the standard of English in the country.

Noor Azimah had this to say: “I am surprised that the minister is surprised. Had he done his mathematics (with English exposure cut in half), he would have known the outcome would be disastrous.”

Poor English proficiency: Why is Muhyiddin baffled and surprised?
15/12/2014 –


PPSMI: Parents demonstrate outside Education Ministry

A group of parents have repeated their calls for an English language-centric education system by demonstrating in front of the Education Ministry.

PUTRAJAYA (Feb 19): A group of tenacious parents have repeated their calls for an English language-centric education system.

Not weathered by the lack of response from the federal government, the group of about 30 representatives from four parent associations demonstrated in front of the Education Ministry before handing a memorandum to an official.

The four associations are the Concerned Parents Selangor (CPS), Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (Page), Malacca Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) and the Herald of Penang for Education (Hope).

CPS coordinator Shamsudin Hamid said although the Education Ministry has not heeded their calls for the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy to be retained, the parents have to continue their efforts for the future of their children.

“We have to push on,” he said. “Because English is the language of knowledge, simple as that.”

The memorandum outlined three demands from the group, which are:

>Reinstate PPSMI as an option,

>Reintroduce English medium schools, and;

>Appoint non-politicians to head the Education Ministry.

Shamsudin said the efforts of the associations for the past four years have fallen on deaf years and the attempts made by the Education Ministry to engage with the parents were a “charade”.

“They engaged us in a dialogue and then told us they will enforce a soft landing in schools,” he said.

“The circular calling for English textbooks to be offered to students and to teach in English were ignored by the heads of national schools,” he added. Shamsudin also pointed out that the Independent Advisory Committee, appointed by the ministry itself, had advocated the continuation of PPSMI in schools, but this was ignored by the ministry.

He also said the National Education Blueprint 2013- 2025 is fraught with shortcomings.

PPSMI: Parents demonstrate outside Education Ministry
by Meena Lakshana
Feb 19, 2013 –


Concerned parents to hold rally for education

PETALING JAYA, Jan 28 — Disgruntled parent groups are planning to hold a rally on February 19 in front of the Ministry of Education in Putrajaya to voice their dissatisfaction over the politicising of education.

As Election 2013 looms, the groups are calling for the Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB) to be put on hold until after the elections, and for an educationist to hold the ministerial post.

“All this year we’ve been saying that the problem should be redressed … It shouldn’t be politicised by people from both sides,” said Shamsudin Hamid, co-ordinator of Concerned Parents of Selangor (CPS).

Together with three other groups — Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE), Malacca Action Group for Parents in Education (MAGPIE), and Herald of Penang for Education (HOPE) — the rally, organised by CPS, will start at 10 am, and culminate with a memorandum being handed over to the ministry.

The memorandum will also push for the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) and English-medium schools to be available as options for students.

Commenting on the possibility of having a non-politician head the ministry, the groups pointed out that there has been a precedence of professionals being appointed senators and made a minister, such as the two ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

They also named Tan Sri Sulaiman Daud and Tan Sri Musa Mohamad who have headed the Education Ministry before, as examples of professionals who have been appointed to the post.

The groups hope that the gathering will convince the government to not rush into implementing the MEB, which will be discussed by the Cabinet in a special session on Wednesday.

“Our message to the Cabinet is that we hope that you’d deliberate the blueprint,” PAGE chief Datin Noor Azimah Rahim told reporters.

According to the groups, although the MEB presents an opportunity for the government to address the ills and shortcomings of the education system from scratch, it has been squandered by only developing on a system which is already in place and fraught with weaknesses.

The groups asked the government to consider the independent reports which were part of the blueprint drafting process, including the findings of an independent education review panel which, the groups said, were conveniently left out of the blueprint framework.

A 12-man review panel was chosen by the government in September last year to aid in the forming of MEB. It included people from the public and private sectors such as AirAsia founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and UKM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin.

The panel, said CPS’s Shamsudin, has been reported to be in favour of the continuation of PPSMI, and he blasted the blueprint framework for only mentioning PPSMI in one sentence despite the furore its cancellation has caused.

The groups also expressed their concern over the transition between the abolishment of PPSMI up until now. The ministry had promised a “soft landing” — where students already in PPSMI would continue to do so until they finish school — but textbooks in English are already not being distributed, while school heads have taken it upon themselves to abolish PPSMI straight away.

“From what we see, the government just wants PPSMI to die a natural death,” said MAGPIE chairman Mak Chee Kin.

Concerned parents to hold rally for education
January 28, 2013 – TMI


‘No English Science, Maths books’

Fourteen percent of schools in Sarawak have opted to use English in their Maths and Science, but parents doubt the Education Ministry’s commitment to their choice.

KUCHING: With schools set to begin their term next week, parents and teachers in Sarawak are in a dilemma over “inconsistent” education policies and the lack of English language books for Mathematics and Science subjects.

Some 14% of primary and secondary schools in in East Malaysian state have opted to continue learning Mathematics and Science in English next year, but have failed to receive their English text books todate.

Said Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How: “On this eve of the opening of the new school year, it is discovered that schools in Sarawak have not received their English textbooks and workbooks, but only the Bahasa Malaysia versions were distributed to all the students.

“This is despite the fact that these schools have filled in and submitted a designated form distributed by the Education Department asking them to decide and indicate whether their primary school students from the PPSMI batch chooses to continue PPSMI fully in English, Bahasa Malaysia or both.

“These schools have expressly opted for English language for those students now in Standard 4 to Standard 6.

“In fact, it was the Deputy PM (Muhyiddin Yassin) himself who revealed last year that 5% from the total classes in 7,495 primary schools and 9% out of 2,192 secondary schools chose to fully used English for Maths and Science.

“He is fully aware of the needs and extent of schools requiring textbooks and workbooks in English for the batch of students still under PPSMI policy, yet these textbooks and workbooks are not being printed and distributed.

“The schools were given the textbooks and workbooks in Bahasa Malaysia instead.”

‘No English Science, Maths books’
December 28, 2012 – FMT


Malaysia’s slide in maths, science rankings unsurprising, says PAGE

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 — Malaysian students will continue their slide into mathematics and science mediocrity if the current education policies do not change, an education lobby group has warned.

Parent Action Group for Education’s (PAGE) response came after the latest results last Wednesday revealed Malaysia had continued its alarming slip down the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) ranking over the years.

“We expected the results to be that … If we continue what we’re doing now, we’ll continue to do worse,” PAGE chief Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim (picture) told The Malaysian Insider.

According to Azimah, the Malaysian education system only teaches content knowledge, knowledge recall and rote learning, which unfortunately only make up a minor portion of TIMSS, unlike reasoning and problem solving.

“We haven’t done anything to prepare our kids in TIMSS … Might as well we don’t take the exams, what a shame,” she said.

TIMSS assesses fourth and eighth grade students (equivalent to Standard Four and Form Two students in Malaysia) over 63 countries in four international benchmarks since 1995.

Malaysia had sent only Form Two students to participate in the study, and 5,773 students from 180 schools took part last year.

For the latest survey in 2011, Malaysia scored 440 in mathematics and 426 in science, below the TIMSS Scale Centerpoint of 500.

In 2007, Malaysia had scored 474 in mathematics and 471 in science. The scores were 519 and 492 respectively in 1999, when Malaysia first participated.

Azimah expressed her cynicism over the government’s plan in the New Education Blueprint to benchmark Malaysian examinations to TIMSS, and reach a top third ranking by 2025.

“If we’re serious of doing well, change,” stressed Azimah, whose group has been championing for Malaysia to continue teaching mathematics and science in English.

Malaysia’s slide in maths, science rankings unsurprising, says PAGE
December 22, 2012 – TMI


PAGE: Ask parents before fixing maths, science language

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — In the latest classroom language row, a pro-English parent lobby group today urged school heads to speak with the parents of schoolchildren first before setting the medium of instruction for science and math subjects.
The pro-English Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) said it has been receiving complaints from some parents that the school heads have ignored their wishes and switched the language policy for the two subjects to Bahasa Malaysia (BM) despite a circular from the education ministry on the issue earlier this month.

“The Education Act 1996 states that pupils are to be educated according to the wishes of their parents,” PAGE chairman, Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, said in a statement today.

She attributed the problem to the November 4 circular that detailed the language policy switch from the existing English to the national language from January next year.

She said that the circular did not indicate a specific mechanism to decide on the choice of language, giving rise to confusion on the language selection.

“The decision should instead be based on the language the students of the school learn best with, the language most used to answer exam scripts, the overall percentage pass in BM and English and the number of students proceeding to tertiary level,” she said.

Noor Azimah pointed out that the education director-general also agrees that school heads cannot insist that everyone learns in Bahasa Malaysia only.

“Therefore, we urge parents to engage with the principal and PTA heads of their respective schools,” she said.

She also called on parents to do their part and write in to formally ask for their children to be taught in English.

PAGE: Ask parents before fixing maths, science language
November 16, 2011

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to do nothing.

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when the government
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