The recommendations of the special committee set up by the
Education Ministry in October last year include some radical proposals
as giving students three SPM English papers to choose from and allowing
primary schoolchildren to learn at their own pace. Other proposals
Musa Mohamad said all recommendations made by the committee would be implemented.
While measures to promote a wider use of English and improve the teaching
and learning of the language should be supported by all right-thinking
Malaysians, it is a major flaw of the education planning process that there
was no full public consultation, feedback and debate on the recommendations
of the special committee before it was presented to the Cabinet for approval.
DAP calls for Cabinet deferment of approval of the recommendations of the special committee to improve students’ performance in English and to allow for a two-month public consultation and debate so as to incorporate good proposals from the public.
The Education Ministry should explain whether it had pinpointed the reasons why in the past ten years, it had failed to check the decline in the standard of English in the country, although the Sixth Malaysia Plan 1991-1995 had declared: “The teaching of English as a second language will be given greater importance in order to stem the decline in the standard of English”. (para 737).
The failure of the Education Ministry to stem the decline in the standard
of English is reflected by the public examination results at all levels,
as show by the following data from the report of the Second National Economic
(1) Keputusan SPM 1998, Pencapaian bagi bumiputra dan bukan bumiputra
English 1&2 3-6 7-9
Bumiputera 3.4 19.9 76.7
Bukan Bumiputera 14.9 31.7 53.4
(2) PMR 1997-Analysis Keputusan Mata Pelajaran
English A B C D E
Bumiputra 8.2 12.3 15.5 21.8 42.2
Bumiputera 22.6 17.6 16.6 17.5 25.7
(3) Pencapaian Pelajar Mengikut mengikut tahun bagi UPSR (English)
1996 1997 1998
% Lulus % Lulus % Lulus
Pelajar (ABC) Pelajar (ABC) Pelajar (ABC)
SK 329,319 53.6 344,402 54.0 355,667 55.5
SJK© 96,140 66.9 97,960 70.3 91,243 63.9
SJK(T) 16,126 51.8 16,094 46.8 16,803 45.1
If the Education Ministry is not prepared to ascertain the reasons as to why its programme to raise the standard of English had failed in the past decade, it is unlikely that it will be very successful in the next decade.