Jaya, Tuesday): New
Straits Times Group editor-in-chief Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad yesterday suggested
bringing back English schools as a solution to the current controversy over the
teaching of English in schools to give
more options to parents in choosing the medium of instruction for their
stressed, however, that this suggestion was not meant for new schools, but only
the old ones established by the British which were converted into national
schools in the 1970s.
said these established schools could be reconverted to teach again in English,
with Bahasa Malaysia and Malaysian literature as compulsory subjects, and
Islamic studies for Muslims. Non-Malays could opt for an additional subject in
their mother tongue.
has made a proposal eminently
worthy of serious consideration.
at the official opening of the Open University of Malaysia (OUM) yesterday, the
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that the education industry
could be further developed into a strong contributor to the national economy as
the industry here, though not the cheapest, was more competitive than that in
many other nations.
said that by merely reducing the number of our students going abroad, Malaysia
can already reduce the outflow of foreign exchange and bolster our reserves.
Cabinet tomorrow should English
medium secondary schools to cater for the 7,000 Malaysian students schooling in
Johore as this could save foreign exchange if Malaysian students going to
Singapore to pursue English medium education could do it locally.
Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar had said that the issue of
7,000 Malaysian students enrolling at schools across the Causeway should not be
turned into a racial or ethnic one, as the government has no objection to
Malaysians going to Singaporean schools.
front-page report in Utusan Malaysia last Friday had first quoted the Federation
of Peninsular Malay Students president Suhaimi Ibrahim as
saying that there are 7,000
Malaysian Chinese students at secondary schools in Singapore where the
of instruction is English.
of instruction is English.
not know whether the 7,000 figure is correct as there is no confirmation by the
Education Ministry although the Prime Minister had adopted it as an
authoritative figure. Suhaimi was
in fact the first to suggest the restoration of English-medium schools when
Mahathir spoke about the need to stop the decline of the English language and to
enhance English proficiency in schools and universities sometime in May.
in line with Mahathirís speech yesterday that creating more educational
openings for Malaysians at school at home will be good for Malaysiaís economy
in saving foreign exchange, the Cabinet tomorrow should decide whether to adopt
Abdullahís proposal for the restoration of some 100 previous English medium
schools to cater to the 7,000 Malaysians studying in Singapore under an
English-medium education system.
the development of English-medium education in Malaysia will also act as a
magnet for foreign students, which can be a major step to transform Malaysia
into an international educational centre of academic excellence as well as
serving the nationís economic interests.