The popular Andersonian Club here was a hive of activity when PAGE (Parent Action Group for Education) Ipoh Chapter organised a dialogue entitled “ PPSMI: The Never Ending Quest”. Hundreds of parents showed up to support the move that the PPSMI policy needs to be reviewed by the Ministry of Education.
Datin Noor Azimah, Chairman of PAGE Malaysia spoke on the topic.
Datin Azimah started by explaining the reason for the formation of PAGE Malaysia. Furthermore, she stressed that PAGE might be fighting a losing battle when it comes to PPSMI. However, with the support of the various non-government organisations and individuals the PPSMI issue is therefore a “ play it safe” right of the parents. She noted that the biggest challenge facing parents is the fact that many schools are resisting co-operating, and they do not adhere to the Education Ministry’s advice. Therefore she emphasized that the Education Ministry must look into these problems and ensure that there are proper mechanisms to ensure that PPSMI is on-going.
Mr Soong Kok Hong, Chairman of Malaysian Employers Federation Perak Branch, emphasized that English is an indispensable tool that will enable us to achieve our aspirations for the 21st century. Thus, fluency and knowledge in English will enable us to prevail against many of the challenges posed by the effects of globalisation. He stressed that English has the largest number of speakers in the world and, in addition, most books and other resources are written in English. All professionals such as human resource personnel, accountants, doctors, engineers and others must have a strong base in English to further their careers. He noted that many of our young candidates are unable to speak or write in English, causing them to lose out in the international market.
This dialogue also gave the opportunity to the moderator, Datuk Dr Anwar Hassan to propose appeals from PAGE Ipoh Chapter that include the following:
- To allow PPSMI option to be given to Standards 1 and 2 students and to set up PPSMI classes for positive responses by a minimum number of 30 students.
- Declare names of Primary and Secondary National Schools in Perak offering PPSMI – each PPD to make a public list of such schools as undertaken by PPD Petaling Utama, Selangor.
- Make readily available English texts for Science and Mathematics in ALL National Schools offering PPSMI.
- Designate a cluster of permanent PPSMI schools for boys and girls in each district of Perak.