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Decision on maths, science next month (Updated)

Updated 9.18pm, 26 May 2009

PUTRAJAYA, 26 May 2009: The decision on the policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English is expected to be announced within the next few weeks, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said he was finalising a report on the matter and would brief Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak before tabling it to the cabinet.

He said the ministry would ensure that the report would contain a comprehensive plan and not just a decision.

“I want everybody to be happy with the plan and at the same time we also want it to satisfy the policies of the ministry.

“I must make sure resources are available, infrastructures are in place, parents are happy and the children not victimised. Most importantly, we want to make sure it will help achieve the national education policy,” he told reporters after meeting seven Chinese educationist groups at his office here today.

On his meeting with the groups, Muhyiddin said among issues discussed was the policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English which the groups opposed and wanted it scrapped.

Muhyiddin said that he was still open to suggestions on the matter and would consider all views before announcing the decision.

On the shortage of teachers in Chinese national-type schools, he said he had asked the organisations to submit the list of those who have applied but had not been offered jobs.

“As an immediate step to overcome the shortage, those who have undergone interviews would be offered jobs to fill up the vacancies,” he said.

The groups also asked that the Unified Examination Certificate be given recognition but Muhyiddin said he told them that it could not be done so long as it did not adhere to the education policy set by the ministry.

“So long as it does not comply with the standard set by the ministry, we won’t be able recognise the certificate,” he said.

Muhyiddin also rejected the request by the groups that private schools be given aid as it was the schools themselves which wanted to remain independent.

“If they want to receive aid, then they will have to comply with existing policies. As long as they want to be independent, it is not proper for the government to provide aid,” he said.

On the request by the educationist groups that Chinese national-type primary schools (SJKC) be exempted from paying examination fees, Muhyiddin said the ministry agreed to the matter in principle but the facility should also be extended to other types of schools such as the Islamic religious schools.

“This depends on the approval by the Finance Ministry,” he said.

On the request for more Chinese schools, Muhyiddin said 14 SJKCs would be relocated while six new ones would be built.

This, however, required the cooperation of the groups in identifying sites for the schools, he said. — Bernama

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