Do Not Flip-Flop, Prioritise Local Ability in Teaching English


SHAH ALAM, 27 Dec: The Federal Government should prioritise employing local graduates and to improve the country’s education system, before proceeding to hire teachers from outside the country to teach English.

Education, Higher Education and Human Capital Development Executive Councillor, Dr Halimah Ali said that the poor command of the English language in schools may be due to the learning system itself.

At the same time, there are thousands of graduates from educational institutions that have yet to get jobs despite achieving good results.

The Federal Government has flip-flopped in their decision regarding English language education.

This can be seen in policies on the study of science and mathematics in English which was implemented during the administration of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, and was later cancelled during the administration of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Therefore, said Dr Halimah, the Ministry of Education should review the implementation before making an announcement.

“Just because we visited India, it does not mean that we have to immediately be interested in bringing over people from India to teach at our schools.

“It has to be reviewed.We do not want the phenomena of flip-flopping policies, one minute it is there, another it is not,” she said when met.

She added that the action also seems to treat students in this country as an experiment.

Last week, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his visit to India, announced that Malaysia is keen in hiring teachers from that country to teach English in Malaysia’s national schools.

PKR Strategy Director Rafizi Ramli recently raised the issue of the fate of graduates with Bachelor of Education (ISMP) degrees particularly from Private Institutes of Higher Learning, who have yet to receive job offers in national schools.

In March 2012, Deputy Minister of Education Datuk Paud Zarkashi confirmed that 7,000 ISMP graduates have yet to receive job offers despite their good results.

Dr Halimah said the Federal Government should solve the unemployment problem of education graduated so that they are not ‘discriminated’ against.

“We have a lot of education graduates, it cannot be that the Federal Government does not have confidence in hiring them? While the Ministry of Education is the one producing these graduates.

“To teach a certain language, they have to have correct teaching and learning methods.

“An effective method should be used. From what we see in terms of theory, students are smart, however in terms of speech, they are not fluent in communicating.

“It may not be a wise step and mistreat our own graduates,” she said.


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