I feel like writing my own opinion after reading Ain's post on this matter. She obviously supports the government's approach in teaching maths and science in English. Well here goes my says..
It is understood that the government had this approach implemented back in 2003 in order to increase the English competency amongst the students. And now it has been 6 years since its first inception (long enough for an experiment), the government found that the approach was not the best tool to realize their educational mission. It might be clearer if I say that maths and science are not the most practical medium to understand English better. Yalah, why were maths and science chosen to be the medium instead of the other subjects; Living Skills or Civic Studies, maybe? If you're a pro-PPSMI, please answer me.
Think I'd like to share you a story. It's quite long, but just bear with me.
My father, to me, has a very positive mind towards English. Growing up as the son of a teacher and spending his teenage life in a very educational environment made him qualified to enroll himself in English College (currently known as Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar, JB) to do his form 6 studies. With determination and hardwork, again, he made himself qualified to further his studies in England. He then spent 15 years there, a period long enough for him to love the land and feel comfortable with English. He went back to Tanah Melayu, met my mother and got married. They have 5 daughters, which all of them never missed Abah's 'colonization era', an era where Abah had our brains stuck at the age of 6 with English by a very simple approach; he bought us English story books and he taught us English using the story books. Simple, isn't it?
Only after we knew some basic vocabularies he started to teach us on English grammars. Then, he bought us more story books to read aloud beside him and were required to translate every single word, just to make sure that we understood what we read, more to understand the story. Our informal class with Abah would be about for an hour or so, twice a day. Plus, we have our own dictionary; a log book where we wrote the new words we found in the story, along with the meanings. Now, at this age, when I feel stupid, I always tell myself to be proud of myself, as I had wrote a dictionary at a very young age! :D
Abah also taught us maths subject but ironically, the exercise books that he bought for me (I don't know bout my other sisters) were in English instead of malay! But I never knew why I never complained to him bout learning maths in English. The only thing that I knew was, maths was fun, I never had any complications with maths in English, and I enjoyed being advanced in my formal maths classes. Abah really made my life as a kid easier in school. He had me well prepared for my formal classes and to be more precise, he made my life easier :)
Based on this story, I conclude that it is easier to have a strong faith (keimanan yang kuat) in English before you go for something more challenging. Just to let you know (for those who doesn't know me), I learned maths and scince in malay in school but my life in UTP has never been hard when it comes to a combination of maths, science and English. And that is why I enjoy gaining knowledge through text books, imagining that I'm reading a story book.
And with this, I, Nurul Fadhilah Salleh, supports the government's decision on reverting back the maths and science teaching to malay and gives a very loud applause on their plan to hire English teachers from Australia and Britain (I guess). Je suis tres tres jaloux dengan adik-adik yg dapat belajar English ngan tuan bahasa itu sendiri :(
P/S : I'd once asked Dato' Hishamuddin to hire my dad as his personal assistant in his ministry, but he just ignored my suggestion. And now Tan Sri Muhyiddin's reverting back everything, guess that my dad is the best education minister ever :p
Tribute to Abah, who always make my life easier
I LOVE YOU.