PETALING JAYA: An academic has urged Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as acting education minister, to expand the teaching of mathematics and science in English to benefit more pupils and suggested that this be done through the use of videos.
Teo Kok Seong of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia said the videos could ensure a uniform quality of teaching across all schools in the country, both urban and rural.
He suggested that the country’s best teachers of mathematics and science in English be asked to help in the production of the videos.
“The education ministry can then prepare workbooks and schoolteachers can guide students in following the videos and using the workbooks,” he told FMT.
He was asked to comment on complaints that FMT received from parents whose children did not make it into the classes in which mathematics and science are taught in English. Most schools offer only one such class for each age level because of a shortage of capable teachers.
Teo said the implementation of his suggestion could spell the beginning of improvements in the quality of education in national schools and could attract non-Malay students back to them.
He noted the Mahathir had spoken about making national schools truly national again. “I feel he can do it because he is not afraid of anyone,” he said, adding that Mahathir should complete this mission before handing over the education portfolio to someone else.
Teo, who participated in the preparation of the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025, said Chinese and Indian parents complained against Islamisation in national schools in dialogue sessions held before the blueprint was drawn up.
“Before he gives the position to anyone else, Mahathir must do this favour of making sure national schools are proper national schools to attract Chinese and Indian parents back,” he said.
Other politicians might fail to reverse the Islamisation trend for fear of backlash, he added.
One of the aims of the education blueprint is to make national schools the top choice of parents.
Malaysia has national schools, Chinese and Tamil vernacular schools, Islamic schools, homeschooling centres and private and international schools.
A large number of non-Malay parents prefer vernacular schools for their children.