KUALA LUMPUR: Those championing the Malay language should put aside nationalistic pride to allow Science and Mathematics to be taught in English, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“It will be difficult to find those who can translate newfound knowledge into the national language if we do not know the language in which the knowledge is acquired.
“It is my view that nationalistic pride makes some of us more inclined towards maintaining our own language,” the Prime Minister said when answering a question by Ahmad Fahmi Mohamed Fadzil (Pakatan-Lembah Pantai) during Minister’s Question Time in Parliament yesterday.
However, Dr Mahathir acknowledged there was a division between those who want the subjects to be taught in English and those who insist the use of the national language.
He said the National Education Advisory Council was currently providing feedback on whether to reintroduce the PPSMI policy (Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English) in schools.
He said this included a detailed study by the Education Ministry on how to reintroduce the PPSMI through a new model using information technology such as the use of recordings of the subject being taught by the best teachers.
Dr Mahathir noted those who fail to learn in the language of knowledge would be left behind.
“Mastering English in terms of teaching and learning is crucial as it is an international language needed for management and administration,” he said, adding that mastering the language could also help in employment opportunities.
He cited the example in which Malaysians students had to learn English when furthering their studies abroad in Britain, the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The Prime Minister also said that unlike history and geography, new discoveries and advancements were made in Science and Mathematics using English.
“Information technology and artificial intelligence technology are new forms of knowledge which did not exist during my time as a student. It will be difficult to find those who are well versed in these fields to translate them into the national language,” he said.[Source: “Dr M: New key discoveries are made using English” published by TheStar.com.my]