Saturday March 9, 2013
English may be made a must pass SPM subject in three years
By SARBAN SINGH
PORT DICKSON: English may be made a compulsory pass subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia as early as 2016.
Students who fail English will not receive a full certificate but will have the opportunity to re-sit the paper in July the following year soon after the SPM results are released.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said to prepare for this, the Education Ministry had, since this year, started training 61,000 English teachers to be more proficient in the language.
Muhyiddin said many parties had also responded positively to the idea when it was first mooted 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 it to be implemented even sooner,” he said at the state-level launch of Strengthening the Usage and Literacy of the English language at SK Kg Baru Si Rusa here.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the training of English teachers was under the first wave of the Malaysia Education Blueprint (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 would gain feedback from stakeholders such as Parent-Teacher Associations, before implementation.
Muhyiddin said the command of English among students had also improved.
“I am told that 20% of students fail English every year in the SPM.
“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.
“Our target is for them to be bilingual in both Bahasa Malaysia and English,” he said.