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Mahathir highlights need to teach Science and Maths in English

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KUALA LUMPUR — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has spoken of the need to use English in the teaching of Science and Mathematics.

Dr Mahathir, who is also acting Education Minister, said this is in line with the government’s intention to promote the use of English and the mastery of the language in the country’s education system.

“It is very important that we must give time for English, particularly in the learning of Science and Mathematics. Geography and History can come in any language but Science and Mathematics are not indigenous fields of knowledge (to Malaysians).

“It comes from abroad. Most of it comes to us in English, therefore we have to use English in the teaching of Science and Mathematics,” he said during a special meeting with Education Ministry management officials in Putrajaya yesterday.

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A video clip of his remarks was later uploaded on Facebook.

Dr Mahathir also observed that those who studied Science in Malay would later find it difficult to work where English was required.

The prime minister also acknowledged that the country and the people would like to see reforms in the country’s education policy.

“I have been having these ideas about the role of education in the development of our country…I’ve noticed certain weaknesses which need to be attended to. So I would like to put on record my views on education so that we can work together to achieve (them),” he said.

“Of course, my views are not always popular or not always acceptable to many people, but I feel that I need to push certain things to make sure that our children grow up and find themselves able to tackle the problems of adult life. That is the purpose of education,” Dr Mahathir said.

He said that certain problems arise from the fact that Malaysia is a multi-racial country, but this is also something that can contribute to the development of the country.

“In fact, much of the development of this country is based on the good working relations between the different races. If the county is not stable, if we are at war, you can forget about development,” he said.

— BERNAMA