Sep 12, 2013

    Two in 3 English teachers in Malaysia unfit to teach

    ABOUT two thirds of English-language teachers in Malaysia have been classified as "incapable" or "unfit" to teach the subject in schools.

    Education Minister II Idris Jusoh said such teachers had been sent for courses to improve their proficiency in the language.

    "The ministry will also consider sending them overseas for exchange programmes to take up TESL (Teaching of English as a Second Language) courses," he said during a dialogue session on the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 on Tuesday.

    Datuk Seri Idris, who did not state the number of such teachers, said that a good portion of them had enrolled in English courses locally.

    Recently, it was revealed that about 70 per cent of the 60,000 English Language teachers who sat for the English Language Cambridge Placement Test performed poorly.

    On allegations that the government was sidelining vernacular schools through the blueprint, Mr Idris denied this, saying "all schools were treated equally".

    "We do not sideline any party. In fact, the ministry encourages everyone to learn more languages. Be it Chinese, Tamil, French or Spanish, the government will be proud if a Malaysian can master these languages," he said.

    The United Chinese School Committees' Association of Malaysia protested against the blueprint, saying that increasing teaching time for Bahasa Malaysia from 270 to 300 minutes for lower-primary pupils and from 180 to 270 minutes for upper-primary pupils was a move to eradicate mother-tongue education.