Lim described the decision to scrap the English policy as ‘irresponsible’. — File pic By Syed Jaymal Zahiid
KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Pakatan Rakyat leaders blasted the government for the delay in the dismantling of the teaching maths and science in English programme (PPSMI), claiming it would only worsen the damage already done by the initiative.
The DAP's Lim Kit Siang, in a statement, said the decision to discard PPSMI only by 2012 was an irresponsible and unprofessional decision "as it would turn millions of students into guinea pigs of a failed experiment twice in a decade."
He said students in Form 1 this year will continue to be taught maths and science in English until Form 3 in 2011 after already having spent the past six years in primary school under the PPSMI.
"However, when they come to Form 4 in 2012, they will become 'guinea pigs' a second time, when the medium of instruction for these two subjects is switched back to Bahasa Malaysia in line with the Cabinet decision," lamented Lim.
This means those students will have to cope with maths and science in Bahasa Malaysia when they sit for the important SPM examinations.
" And it's not only this batch of students who will be victimised and made second-time guinea pigs, but an entire generation of school-going children from 2003 to 2013 and beyond," stressed Lim.
The DAP veteran also took a swipe at MCA and MIC for their failure to convince the Umno heads of government to continue with the teaching of the two subjects in English to Form 4 and 5 students despite admitting that it was the best solution.
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin said two days ago that the programme, which cost RM4 billion to implement, must first complete the second phase of its six-year cycle before the government can discard it.
He said this would give the government, students and teachers ample time to make preparation for the changes.
PKR deputy president Syed Husin Ali, backing his PR comrade, described the delay as absurd and irresponsible and said PPSMI should have never been implemented in the first place.
Syed Husin, who leads the left-wing faction in a centralist-dominated PKR, also blasted the government for its failure to give concrete reasons for the delay in jettisoning the PPSMI.
While the political parties bicker about it, society at large remained divided over the subject with those from the urban areas demanding that the programme be continued while those in the rural areas supporting its abolition.
And parties from both sides have so far failed to come up with an alternative that would garner common support from the diversely opinionated public.