Forget ‘Science, Maths in English’ talk, start by getting basics in schools right

A parent group says there should be more conversations and action in addressing issues in schools instead of harping about the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI).

Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the Covid-19 pandemic showed how important it is for teachers and children to be connected online and to have the right devices.

“The best bet (regarding PPSMI) is teaching these subjects in dual languages … that’s already being done. This will ensure there will be no more excuses of teachers not being ready to teach in English,” said Noor Azimah.

Yesterday, Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin responded to a parliamentary question from William Leong (PKR-Selayang) by saying his ministry does not plan to reintroduce PPSMI.

PPSMI was taught during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure as the fourth Prime Minister.

“What we need is teachers and children having proper internet connection and laptops. I’m surprised there is still no tender by the government to ensure children, especially those from the B40, have laptops.

“You can’t learn from a phone … your eyes will hurt.”

She added teachers also need such devices.

The Education Ministry last year terminated the 1BestariNet programme that powered schools with internet.

It then pledged to get a new contractor(s) to provide internet to schools nationwide before the 2020 academic year. However, to date, there has been no news of a fresh tender.

The Movement Control Order, which kicked in on March 18, saw millions of schoolchildren learning from home.

Among the issues faced by teachers and parents were lack of internet connectivity and that they did not have devices or had to share laptops with other family members.

Schools re-opened this month with strict standard operating procedures in place.

“Covid-19 serves as an excuse to jump-start online learning. We don’t know if there will be a second wave.

“After watching kids going back to school, it all seems nice and safe when they enter, but when they exit, they go out at once. I guess no one has thought about a proper exit plan,” she added.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal.

FACE MASKS NOT COMPULSORY IN SCHOOLS

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said schools only need to provide soap or hand sanitisers and check the temperature of those in their premises.

The wearing of face masks is not compulsory. School administrators will only need to provide a face mask if a student or teacher shows any Covid-19 symptoms.

PM DENIES OFFERING SHAFIE APDAL DPM ROLE

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin issued a statement denying he offered Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal the deputy prime minister’s post in March.

What Shafie Apdal said during a recent interview was his presumption, added Muhyiddin.

DR M: RESIGNING WAS A FORMALITY

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad described his resignation earlier this year as “only a formality”. He said after Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia left Pakatan Harapan, the coalition ceased to be the government.

“This meant all members of the cabinet lost their ministerial positions. This included me,” Dr Mahathir wrote on his blog.

WATER SUPPLY FULLY RESTORED

Water supply to five districts in the Klang Valley has been restored. The scheduled water cut, affecting consumers in 290 areas in Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Kuala Lumpur, was due to the upgrading works at the Sungai Selangor Phase 3 water treatment plant which started on July 14.

WILL OCM HAVE NEW OFFICE BEARERS NEXT YEAR?

As sports associations in Malaysia return to normalcy, all eyes are on the Olympic Council of Malaysia elections next year which will see Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria defending his presidency.

There have been conversations of a new line-up. Some wondered if the current office bearers would have been voted in had OCM conducted its elections after the 14th general election in 2018.

M-LEAGUE RESUMES ON AUG 26

The M-League will resume on Aug 26 after being postponed since March 16 due to Covid-19.

The Super and Premier Leagues will continue while the Malaysia Cup, which starts in October, will end on Nov 7. The FA Cup and Challenge Cup, however, will not be held this year.