Teaching of science, maths in English to start with primary 1 next year, says Sarawak

Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin.

KUCHING: The teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English in Sarawak will only begin with primary one next year, state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin said.

He said the two subjects will be taught in English at 891 primary schools in the state except in Chinese primary schools.

On April 24, Education Minister Maszlee Malik announced that Sarawak will be the first state to implement the teaching and learning of the two subjects in English for primary schools.

The decision was made following Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s announcement in March that the government had taken the middle-road approach to the teaching of Science and Mathematics in schools.

Mahathir said the approach would allow schools to choose whether to teach the two subjects in English or Malay because some Malaysians supported the idea while others were opposed to it.

Manyin said there were challenges that needed to be resolved before the implementation of the initiative next year.

These included the training of teachers, production of resource materials and the assessment and examination format.

“This is a tough task for us but it’s good for Sarawak.

“I believe that in the next six to seven years, the standard of English among our pupils will improve,” he said.

He said the ministry had started discussions with the Sarawak Education Department on the number of teachers that have to be trained, the module for training and the resources needed.

“We will also be engaging with the institutions of higher learning, namely Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Curtin Univerisity and Swinburne University, and the teachers’ training institute to discuss the training for teachers,” he said.

Manyin said his ministry would coordinate with the federal education ministry on the funding for the project.