Wednesday February 27, 2013
‘Five years and 60,000 teachers for English to become must-pass subject’
By KANG SOON CHEN
PETALING JAYA: It will take at least five years and the training of some 60,000 teachers to prepare for making English a compulsory pass subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said 5,000 teachers had already been trained; while another 9,000 will undergo training.
“Perhaps we'll need three, four or five years to train the teachers, and until then the ministry will decide when is the best time to implement the policy,” Dr Wee told reporters after launching the Star-NiE (Newspaper-in-Education) and Pizza Hut contest titled, Tale Spin 2013.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, also the Education Minister, announced last Saturday that English would be made a must-pass subject in SPM when teachers and students were ready for it.
Dr Wee said it was impossible to make English a compulsory pass subject in SPM overnight as sufficient teachers had to be trained and the curriculum must be further improved.
“Previously, students used to sit for the English 122 paper before the format was changed to English 1119 which was marked according to GCE O-level standards. The changes don't happen overnight but our standards keep improving gradually,” he said.
Earlier, Dr Wee said the Tale Spin contest provided a platform for students to engage in creative hands-on learning.
“The Malaysia Education Blueprint has identified that Malaysian students are generally weaker in the English language. Having a contest like this where students get to work in groups motivates them to learn the language in a natural and fun way,” he said.
Star Publications (M) Bhd executive director and group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said the NiE programme was one of the successful initiatives by The Star to promote English among students.
“The theme this year is a very fitting response to the Government's call to help raise the level of spoken and written English in schools since we began sponsoring Star-NiE back in 1998,” he said.
Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd.
> See full report in StarEducate this Sunday for more on the Star-NiE and Pizza Hut's Tale Spin 2013 contest.