Friday, February 11, 2011

MEDIUM OF TEACHING


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on January 24, 2011 8:55 AM

1. In an interview by Nanyang Siang Pau, I pointed out that there is no country in the world, except Malaysia where the Government allows and pays for schools which use a foreign language for teaching in schools meant for a community whose ancestors came from a foreign country.

2. A NSP reader claims that I was wrong because in many countries the Chinese language is taught and are spoken.

3. May I point out that there is a difference between teaching in a foreign language and learning (and speaking) a foreign language. I was referring to teaching (medium of instruction) in a foreign language not learning a foreign language. Learning a foreign language is usually not only permissible but encouraged.

4. The claim that in Thailand there are schools which use Chinese as the medium of teaching is not correct. There are International schools which do not use the Thai national language but they are not funded by the Government. Similar international schools to cater for expatriates are found in many countries including in Malaysia. Some nationals also go to these schools. But they are not like the Chinese and Tamil schools in Malaysia which are Government funded schools.

5. Even in Singapore there are no Government funded schools where the medium of instruction is Chinese or Tamil. But the students must learn another language other than English, which is the medium of teaching in Singapore.

6. Incidentally the policy of the Singapore Government to use English as a teaching medium rather than Malay, Chinese or Tamil has not resulted in it being accused of being anti-Chinese, anti-Tamil or anti-Malay.

6. Nationally the national language of predominantly Chinese Singapore is Malay but Chinese, Tamil and English are also official languages which are taught and may be used instead of English.

7. If anyone wishes to refute what I state here, they are welcome. But they must provide evidence to show that I am wrong.