Monday, 29 June 2009

Teaching of Science and Maths in Whatever Languages

Looks like another "glorious" Monday with an early phone call from an ex-boss (still within the same company but I don't report to him anymore. However, he likes to keep his evil presence felt... sheeesh!!!). That (though seemingly unrelated), plus reading a news article of an opposition leader calling for Science and Mathematics to be taught in languages according to the schools (national, Chinese and Tamil) got me thinking... oh yeah! Thinking on a Monday morning is a very big deal!

When Science and Maths were made compulsory to be taught in English in all Malaysian schools, it was met with quite some strong resistance and few years on, it still is made as a subject for debate by both ruling government and opposition. However, I would like to share my personal experience during my school days.

I did my primary and secondary years in national schools, meaning the majority of subjects were taught in Bahasa Malaysia or Bahasa Melayu (depends on whichever timeline we are in), so when I moved to A-Levels in a private college, I really had some big issues on catching up with the terms used in my subjects - and I'm a science student. My subjects were Maths, Advanced Maths, Chemistry and Physics. Chemicals and physics terms had significantly different names and mathematic questions required multiple re-reading.

I was lucky that I managed to get through all those hurdles quite quickly because my England was not so bad. But I do wonder now, what would the others that are moving in this direction or even, those that have left school for work while learning Science and Maths in non-English languages, will face when almost all matters in the private sector are in English? If I'm not wrong, local universities also teach their science subjects in English, so this sudden change might cause quite some confusion. This plus the fact that most of us national school leavers only have English as a single subject...

I don't know. Maybe I'm just rambling and my opinion here might just be clashing with the majority of the public, but this is what I am wondering on this Monday morning.


wooncc said...

solution: drop maths and science

andrewk said...

Funny how no-one has asked what current and former students think.

The public is an ass.

IonBuck said...

We are the politicians' Lego.