PETALING JAYA: Having addressed the issue of non-suitability of the new English Language text books for Standard 1 and Form 1 students in Malaysia, DAP’s Zairil Khir Johari has now revealed another glaring error in the education ministry’s handling of the issue.
Referring to “Super Minds” for primary school pupils and “Pulse 2” for secondary school students, the Bukit Bendera MP said, the ministry has failed to provide teachers the necessary guidance on how to use the new “imported” textbooks.
“In normal circumstances, the education ministry provides a teaching curriculum called Standard Curriculum and Assessment Document (DSKP), which serves as a reference guide for teachers to plan their lessons and set exam questions.
“Unfortunately, there does not seem to be DSKPs available for the new textbooks,” Zairil said, citing the ministry’s website.
He said for secondary schools, the website shows there is no DSKP for the teaching of English Language for Form 1 and Form 2, which will use the new “Pulse 2” from next year.
Zairil also said it was interesting that the lesson plans for all other subjects, including language subjects such as Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Cina, Bahasa Tamil, Bahasa Iban, Bahasa Kadazandusun, Bahasa Semai, Bahasa Perancis, Bahasa Jerman, Bahasa Jepun and Bahasa Arab.
“As for primary schools, only the DSKP for Standard 1 English Language seems to be available while the DSKP for Standard 2 appears to be missing.
“There is no doubt that experienced teachers will be able to formulate lesson plans without the assistance of DSKPs. However, the majority of teachers would require some guidance.
“More so, with the ‘imported’ textbooks containing many references to foreign cultural elements that may be alien to the teachers as well as students,” he said.
Zairil criticised the ministry, saying it was obvious that the sudden decision to switch from local to “imported” textbooks was not carefully planned.
“Notwithstanding the opaque manner in which these textbooks were procured, that is without an open tender and at a very high cost, the lack of preparation by the education ministry will also mean that teachers will be hampered in their attempts to teach their students using these new textbooks.”
Zairil, who is also the DAP parliamentary spokesman for education, science and technology, had previously said that the “Super Minds” by Cambridge University Press and “Pulse 2” by MacMillans, were designed specifically for Spanish students.
He said this was clear from the contents of the book, which he said also contained European references that were irrelevant to Malaysian children.
“The local publisher hired by the education ministry to adapt the books for local use had also forgotten to remove the Spanish link.
“Kumpulan Desa Fikir had inadvertently forgotten to replace the caption ‘Printed and bound in Spain by Edelvives’ on the last page of the book, which is clearly erroneous when the books were actually printed locally by BHS Book Printing in Cheras,” he had said.