In 2002, our previous prime minister; Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had announced that Science and Mathematics will be taught in primary and secondary school start from year 2003. Many opinions have been raised on whether these two subjects should be taught in English or not. From my point of view as a Science student, these two subjects especially science should be taught in English due to some reasons.
Even though English is the global language, many people in Malaysia still do not master it especially people in the rural area who used their native language as their daily language. It must be so difficult to teach them a subject by using a language that they do not familiar with. If they cannot understand English in the first place, how are they going to understand Science concepts?
Teaching Science in English will give a problem for non- speaking English students to learn Science. Communication problem between students and teachers will exist. Students cannot understand what their teachers are talking about. In experiments for example, the students will have problem to understand the instruction from teachers. Consequently, Science misconception will arise among the students. This will divert the students from the Science concept which need logical thinking. Besides that, students who cannot catch the lesson will lose interest in Science. This will affect the students’ achievement in Science.
Besides the students, another victim of this system is our country’s economy. Why is that so? Our country need to spend a lot of money to implement this new educational system. The government needs a high cost to change all the Science text books from Malay to English. Besides that, Science teachers are needed to attend course to teach Science in English. They are also provided with technological equipments like note book and LCD. All these things are really expensive. The annual budget of our country will be more focus on these things rather than other things like citizen’s welfare and country’s development.
Using English in Science also seems to neglect our national language; Malay Language. It is our duty to uphold Malay Language. If we continue using English, what will happen to Malay Language? Since our country is already free from any colonization, we should rise up our national language as our identity. If another country like Japan can use their own language in their educational system, why we cannot do the same? Of course we cannot deny the status of English language as the global language. But it does not mean it should be the master in our educational system. If we intent to master English due to its importance, we can improve the English language itself, not other subjects. Therefore, it will just improve our competency in English without affecting other subjects.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that Science should not be taught in English based on the reasons that I put forward above. If we want to fix something, we should know very well the exact problem. Using English to teach Science will not settle anything but only draw us to the worse situation when we lose what we have before.