PPSMI:A Different Perspective

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The teaching of mathematics and science in English has become a contentious issue, with emotions running high on both sides. Does it really matter which language these subjects are taught in, as both subjects have their own mysterious “languages”? PM unravels the beauty and wonder of numbers and sorts out the rational from the irrational.

An overview

Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris or PPSMI - to teach and learn mathematics and science in English – became government policy in 2003 due to concerns over the nation’s human capital development and to enable early preparation for the workforce in response to globalisation. Proficiency in English, as an international language, was deemed crucial to facilitate ready access to knowledge and innovation.

In the years that followed, PPSMI came under intense public debate. This year, the policy was rescinded, reverting back to instruction in Bahasa Malaysia for the 2012 school year, further intensifying the debate.


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