It looks like it in Malaysia (according to this news report), ... and if we continue to allow our political leaders to mess up with our children's education...
'A group of American manufacturers in Malaysia told Putrajaya today to keep the teaching of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) as a way of strengthening the nation’s talent pool.
This comes as over two-thirds of its members surveyed found it difficult to recruit local workforce in the design and development sector, in an annual survey released by the Malaysian American Electronics Industry (MAEI) today.
“If you want to go up the higher chain ... We need more children to become future engineers and technologists,” MAEI chairman Datuk Wong Siew Hai said here after presenting the survey’s results.
MAEI, which is a committee under the American Malaysian Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM), outlined the use of English in a series of recommendation to strengthen the “talent pipeline through education”.
This comes as PPSMI is gradually being phased out from the national education system with no plans to revive it in the newly-launched Malaysian Education Blueprint (MEB), resulting in brickbats from disgruntled parents.
“We will continue to advocate on this. We think it’s the right thing ... We hope the government will listen,” Wong said, responding to PPSMI’s abolishment.
Amid an export sales growth of six per cent at RM46.6 billion last year, exports of electrical and electronics (E&E) and semiconductor have dropped at 1.8 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.
Last week, it was reported that exports in Malaysia have dropped by 0.9 per cent in the 12-month period leading to March this year, with exports of machinery and transport equipment dropping by 2.1 per cent in the same period.
Despite a rosy outlook in the second half of this year, MAEI admitted of a global talent shortage which also includes Malaysia, as the country moves up the chain into a knowledge-based economy and value-added goods.
According to education minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last year, Putrajaya had been against bringing back PPSMI as well as English medium schools, as these would appear that it was backtracking and flip-flopping.
Language in education is often contested on political rather than academic grounds in Malaysia, with both Malay and Mandarin advocate groups in the past threatening backlashes if their language demands were not met.
Malaysia currently offers public education in three languages ― Malay, Mandarin and Tamil ― while English language education remains the preserve of those wealthy enough to send their children to private schools.
Malaysia converted its English language medium schools to Malay medium schools in the 1970’s but reintroduced English as a medium of instruction for mathematics and science in 2003. This was again overturned in 2009 in what many perceived to be an effort to placate both Malay and Mandarin hardline groups.'