Published: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 1:30:00 PM
Updated: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 2:49:06 PM
Muhyiddin: English a compulsory pass subject as early as 2016
By SARBAN SINGH
PORT DICKSON: The proposal to make English a compulsory pass subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination could be implemented as early as 2016, Deputy Prime MInister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Friday.
Students who fail English will not receive their full certificate but will have the opportunity to re-sit the paper in July the following year, soon after the SPM results are released.
Muhyiddin said in preparation for this, the Education Ministry had started training 61,000 English teachers to be more proficient in the language.
He said many parties had also responded positively to this when he first mooted the idea several years ago.
"I don't see why this cannot be done by then since many people, including parents, are supportive of the proposal.
"I have also been reading letters sent to newspapers where many parents have endorsed this (proposal). In fact, many want this to be implemented even sooner," he said at the state level launch of the Strengthening the Usage and Literacy of the English language policy at SK Kg Baru Si Rusa here.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said training English teachers was under the first wave of the National Education Development Plan (2013-2025).
"The second wave will start in 2016 and that is when we propose to implement the pass in English ruling," he said, adding that his ministry will again solicit feedback from stakeholders first, such as Parent Teacher Associations, before implementing this.
Muhyiddin said the command of English amongst students had also improved since the Government began promoting the use of the language several years ago.
"I am told that based on the existing SPM curriculum, only 20% students fail English every year.
"We are confident that we will be able to reduce this figure by then," he said.
In his speech earlier, Muhyiddin said the Government was committed to promoting the use of English in schools to ensure the people had a better command of the language.
"Since English is widely used internationally, we have little choice but to encourage our children to be proficient.
"Our target is for them to bilingually proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and English," he said.