Hornbill Unleashed

July 7, 2017

New circular for reps on English proficiency

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

<The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research will issue another circular to all 82 state elected representatives on guidelines to adopt schools in their respective constituencies to improve English proficiency among students soon.

Its minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong said the circular will also include a guideline for the elected representatives to obtain consensus among parents and teachers to support the initiative before it is adopted at the school.

“The elected representatives can start this anytime as long as both parents and teachers agree to support it,” he told reporters after receiving a courtesy call from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak delegation led by its rector Prof Datuk Dr Jamil Hamali at his office in Baitulmakmur Building here yesterday.

He was asked to comment on a recent circular issued by his ministry which sought for the cooperation of state elected representatives to support the initiative to improve the level of proficiency in the English language in schools.

Manyin hoped that the elected representatives will be committed in implementing the adoption of schools for better English at their constituency and that they should not be seeking for funds for this initiative.

“We don’t need money for this and we don’t need tuition for that. We hope that all Ahli Yang Berhormat (elected representatives) will have their own initiative and I really want to appeal to all of them to support our initiative,” he stressed.

Citing two primary schools in Sarawak which have successfully implemented such initiative, Manyin is optimistic that the proficiency of English amongst students in the state will improve within five years.

“Teachers and parents of students at SK Ulu Lubai in Limbang and SK Ba Kelalan in Lawas have agreed to put to practice that all students and teachers must speak English when they are in the school compound with the exception of when they are inside the classroom and they have to follow the medium of instruction.

“This is a good model to look at and we are trying to emulate this for all the schools in the state. If half of the schools adopt this initiative, I think that within five years, our proficiency in English will definitely improve,” he said.

He acknowledged that most students in the state have poor command of English but said teachers should not expect them to speak perfect English from the word go.

“They can speak in ‘Manglish’ (Malaysian English) or even if a student were to say ‘Sir, my head is paining’, we understand what he or she is trying to say and it conveys the message.

“Let’s start with that and slowly we can correct their command of English and then they will slowly have the confidence,” he said.

He also mentioned that he will later inform teachers not to be harsh on students should they make mistakes when trying to speak in English.

“Our main task is to encourage them, let them practise and give them the confidence to speak English.”

Source : The Borneo Post Online by Marilyn Ten


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