Must-pass English course will create problems for students in rural Malaysia

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Malay rights group Perkasa has urged the Education Ministry to hire English speaking teachers and provide English reading material at all the public schools by next year. The request was driven by Malaysian government’s decision to make English a compulsory passing subject.

“To ensure Bumiputera students in rural areas are not left behind, the Education Ministry must make sure every rural school has sufficient trained teachers in English, English books and reading materials to help the students. All needs must be met starting 2014 even though it is compulsory only from year 2016,” Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said.

On Friday, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin declared English as a mandatory passing subject in the national SPM examination. He acknowledged that English is a universal language and the upcoming generations must learn to speak it. He said the academic institutes will now increase the number of lesson hours for English.

On the contrary, the Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE) said that making English a mandatory passing subject will have an adverse effect on students studying in the rural areas. The group also showed concern about the latest policy change and alleged that it will only pressurize students to pass the exams instead of actually learning the language.

Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has doubts about the impacts of this new policy. Ibrahim says making English language course a must-pass will put undue pressure on students who have not been studying English language til now. He said such policy should be introduced only when the government is certain that all the academic institutes are teaching the subject in detail.

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  1. Malaysia could have been centre of education to lots of foreigners, just because we have people like Ibrahim Ali and”the Old Horse” which caused the confusion in the country education system. Just imagine after 56 years, still talking about the education system !! I am ashame of our country having these leaders !

  2. There are good students in every school. The rural areas have churned out highly educated students over the years. It is sacomment_ID their weakness can turn out to be their strengths. Results will vary for Bahasa Malaysia or English. There will be students scoring A’s and there will be students doing fairly. A student must prepare himself/herself with extra studies. Learning from an advanced dictionary will give a strong foundation in vocabulary, grammar and correct sentence structure. There is no short cut to learning anything.

  3. Without English Language at the main stream in Malaysia, we as Malaysians will fail in development competing with new developing countries surrounding us.We are not only cheating our self but also the innocent generations to represent us once we are no more in the future.
    Closure of the British council library in Kuala Lumpur is a set back for young Malaysians in grooming dynamic Malaysians to lead Malaysia into the 21st century onwards as we are gifted with loving Malaysians ,conducive environment, greens every where, strategic location between east and west ,next to the busiest shipping lane in the world and absence of natural disaster unless we create one. Confucious once sacomment_ID to face the changes we must be able to accept good things from anywhere and at the same time ready to disregard negative elements within us and remember our life duration is too short to ignore.

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