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Friday, January 31, 2020

Teaching in English will help us stay competitive, say manufacturers

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers says employers are facing difficulty finding local graduates with an adequate standard of English proficiency to write and discuss work matters, especially technical issues. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) believes the government’s plan to reintroduce English as the medium of instruction to teach Science and Mathematics will help the country maintain its competitiveness in an increasingly globalised world.
The policy was first implemented in 2002 but dropped in 2012 amid protests from teachers and Malay advocacy groups.
Announcing its reintroduction today, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad – who is also the acting education minister – said Malaysians want to see reforms in the nation’s education policy.
“English, being a tool of knowledge and medium of business and technical communication, contributes to the industry’s ability to compete globally,” said FMM president Soh Thian Lai in a statement.
“Technical manuals are in English. Access to training opportunities, especially at the international level, requires the ability to understand, communicate and write in English.
Soh Thian Lai.
“Malaysians will be deprived of such training opportunities if education policies fail to emphasise the critical importance of English,” added Soh.
Stating that English is the language of mathematics, science, engineering, ICT and medicine, Lam noted that these subjects facilitate the acquisition of scientific knowledge and technology that allow for R&D, greater innovation and knowledge-based ICT activities.
This in turn will contribute to higher value-added activities in all sectors of the economy, he added.
Soh said he hoped that greater mastery of the English language and teaching of the core subjects in the language would also lead to a progressive move towards teaching critical vocational training courses in English for selected manufacturing and services sectors.
Soh said English is the language of international trade and negotiations. It is also used while communicating with governments and authorities worldwide.
Soh said Malaysian employers are facing difficulty finding local graduates with an adequate standard of English proficiency to write and discuss work matters, especially technical issues.
“FMM has been lobbying the government for years to make English a must–pass subject in public examinations.
“We hope to see a stronger commitment to making English a compulsory pass subject in SPM in the very near future.” - FMT

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