Introduction The education policy of Malaysia was started since 1956 and it was before the independence of Malaya Peninsula. Then the policy was developed through four major phases, which were Razak Report era, 1956, Rahman Talib Report era, 1960, the Cabinet Report 1979, and the Education Bill 1995. Razak report, 1956 Malaysian second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak as the Minister of Education at that time, had chaired the education committee 1956 which was formed to devise a national education system.
The committee was created to devise a national education system, to encourage the use of Malay as the language of instruction in schools and ensure the protection of the language and culture of other ethnic groups. Recommendations of the Razak report 1956 became the starting point for the Education Ordinance 1957. It was important as an educational framework for independent Malaya and eventually Malaysia. The following was the major recommendations contained in the Razak Report: * Create School Board of Governors for all schools, the primary and secondary.
* Schools were classified and indentified into: (1) private/independent school which will not receive assistance from public funds; (2) government-aided; (3) public; and (4) national-type (sekolah jenis kebangsaan) the medium of instruction can be Mandarin, Tamil, or English. * Malay and English are compulsory subjects in both primary and secondary schools; other languages may be taught based upon need and demand.
The reason of teaching English is that no secondary school pupil shall be at a disadvantage in the matter of either of employment or of higher education in Malaya or overseas as long as it is necessary to use the English language for these purposes. * Form one scheme of service for teachers, and all teachers will undergo the same training process. This mean that all teachers should be organized into one professional service on one national salary scale with contributory pension rights and with individual freedom of transfer from one employer to another.
During that time, most of the teachers are with their own salary scale and with little or no opportunity for transfer or for promotion from one grade to another. * The creation of the school inspectorate. In addition, the Razak Report had other objectives within the context of nation-building. The example of the objectives are the promotion of national integration and unity through a common education system and the creation of a society that is disciplined, skilled, tolerant, liberal and progressive (Jawan, 2003). Rahman Talib Report, 1960 After the 1959 general elections, Rahman Talib chaired the education committee.
The formation of this committee was to implement one of the recommendations contained in the Razak Report that required a study be undertaken not later than 1959. On the other hand, the committee has some recommendations of its own even though the committee under Rahman Talib was generally satisfied with the overall implementation of recommendations contained in the Razak Report. Some of the recommendations of Rahman Talib Report were as follow; * Schools and universities use Malay as the language of instruction. * Free education in national primary school beginning in 1962.
The students who educated in national primary school will not need to pay for the educational fees. * Transition class for students from vernacular schools who wish to switch to national secondary school where Malay was the language of instruction. * Give emphasis to vocational and technical education in order to produce skilled labor. * Give emphasis to moral and religious education for spiritual development. The Rahman Talib Report became the basis of the Education Act 1961. Then the National Education Policy 1961 arose from the Razak Report, 1965 and the Rahman Talib Report, 1961.
Among the major strategies contained in the National Education Policy were as follow: * All government-aided primary schools were reclassified as either national (sekolah Kebangsaan) or national-type (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan) primary schools. * Trade schools were introduced and increased in numbers. * The use of Malay as the main language of instruction in all schools and institutions of higher learning. * The use of textbooks based on the local Malaysian background. * The preparation of a new primary school curriculum emphasized on reading, writing and arithmetic.
* The preparation of new secondary school curriculum that emphasized the integration of intellectual, spiritual, emotional and physical development. New Curriculum for secondary and primary school The new Integrated Curriculum for Primary School (KBSR) was implemented in 302 schools at first in 1982 and was fully implemented in all primary schools in 1983. As a continuum for the six years in primary school, the new Curriculum for Secondary School (KBSM) was implemented starting 1988. The Report of the Cabinet Committee (1979) becomes a basis in the development of KBSR and KBSM.
Report of the Cabinet Committee, 1979 The Cabinet Committee was formed in 1974 and its purpose was to reexamine the National Education policy and then improve upon it. This was to ensure that the national objective of creating an integrated and united Malaysian society that is disciplined as well as fulfilling the need of the nation for a skilled manpower required for national development can be achieved. The report of the Cabinet Committee was published in 1979. Some of the major emphasis was given as follows: * Give emphasis to the basic of educations which were reading, writing, and arithmetic.
* Give emphasis to the important of spiritual education and also disciplines. * Give emphasis to the curriculum based on local content or background. * The provision of secondary level of education by two routes, academic and vocational. * The opportunities to receive education for the first 11 years. * The efficiency in educational administration in order to improve the overall quality of education. The Education Bill, 1995 The last major policy on education was the Education Bill 1995. It was not wholly new, but built upon previous policies.
The Education Bill 1995 was created to improve and make the education policy more efficient in order to meet the requirement of education to contemporary challenges that Malaysia is facing at different juncture. The following is the national educational policy that emphasized in the Education Bill, 1995. * The need for the national education system to produce world-class education in line with the national aspiration and Vision 2020. * The National Education Philosophy is to be the basis of the national educational policy. * Primary education to be between 5-7 years.
* Pre-school education is part of the educational system. * Technical and vocational schools to be improved. * Provision is made to supervise private education. Emphasis on KBSM and KBSR According to the National Philosophy of education, certain aspects are emphasized and inculcated across all subjects to meet the goals in education. Analytical and creative and critical thinking skills Memorization is not seen as important for subjects such as History and Geography. In the teaching and learning of History, students do not have to memorize the events and dates.
They have to start with knowing the historical aspects of their school and town. For science, students in primary school are asked to make hypothesis and draw inferences from an experiment. Group and collaborative efforts are encouraged and they are to present their project or solution to the group. Problem solving skills Every subject will be functioning as guide for students in making decisions and enable them to solve problems. Pedagogical approach towards meaningful learning KBSM and KBSR is stream to meaningful learning based on approaches such as constructivist approach, cooperative learning, and contextual learning.
Information on new teaching approaches is disseminated through in-service and pre-service courses, website, books and workshops. Teachers who attended courses are to share with their colleagues by giving talks or organizing workshops at the school or district level. Teachers have also been given the opportunity to participate in workshops overseas (Yunus, 2001). Noble values It is hoped that the education standards set would produce citizens with high moral standards, and who are responsible and capable of achieving a high level of personal well-being. Offering greater opportunity: Setting up of various type of schools Pre-school.
Pre-school is the place that the children between 4 to 6 years of age be educated. It gives preparation to the children to stimulate environment before they go to primary school. Primary education Children will start schooling at primary school at age of 7 years old. It may be completed within 5 to 7 years. Malaysia set up National School and National Type School due to sensitive to multi-ethnic nature of it population. Malay will be medium of instruction in National School and English is compulsory. Mandarin and Tamil will be medium of instruction on National Type School and Malay and English are compulsory.
Secondary school Secondary schools offer a comprehensive education program. The curriculum includes a wide variety of subjects ranging from arts and sciences as well as technical subjects that provide particular basis and a hands-on approach to learn. After studying three years of lower secondary level, students will go through upper secondary level and become more specialized on variety fields. Smart school The concepts of Smart school are meaningful learning and thoughtful students through the use of multimedia education courseware, exploratory learning, collaborative education and distance education.
The idea is for the consortium to design a “total solution” for computerized schools, including electronic teaching materials as well as systems for student assessment and administration and management. Technical and vocational schools Technical and vocational schools are offer education to upper secondary education only. It gives student preparation to learn technical and scientific tertiary education in order to become technicians and semi-skilled workers. Technical schools generally prepare students for higher education. Vocational schools are career oriented.
Both schools give choices for student to go through higher education. National Religious Secondary Schools National Religious Secondary Schools offer Islamic Religious Studies and Arabic studies to the students in order to be occupied in Islamic Religious Affairs, education and law. Nowadays, this type of schools also offer subjects related to science and technology. Special education schools Special education schools provide educational opportunities for the students with special needs such as spastic, handicapped, visually impaired, hearing impaired, as well as those with learning disabilities.
The students can get extent time to finish their education. PPSMI Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) are a government policy aimed at improving the command of the English language among pupils at primary and secondary schools in Malaysia. (Malaysia K. P. , 2011) According to the statement regarding PPSMI of the Malaysian Ministry of Education, there are some reason to change the medium of instruction from Malay language to English for teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics.
Because of the concern of government, they focus on nation’s human capital development towards achieving the standard of a developed country, as well as an early preparation to compete in the era of globalization. (Malaysia K. P. , 2011) When proposing the policy, Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad was said that Malaysia is in declining in the age of globalization, therefore he hoped that this policy will gives a competitive advantages to the other nation such as Singapore and India which are moving forward with its globalization.
This is because government known that the field of science and mathematics form the basis and have a crucial role in the progress and development of a country. Besides, they also know that these two fields happen rapidly and information access in English language. Moreover, English language is also the language spoken internationally and mastery in this language would allow easy access to information in these fields. The government had done research that proved and can implemented English as medium of instruction for Science and Mathematics when they got the result of UPSR which is Primary School Evaluation Test in Malaysia.
Follow by the Table 1: Table 1: Type of primary school in Malaysia| SK (National Primary School)| SJKC (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina)| SJKT (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil)| Passing Grade / Fail| ABC (%) /DE (%)| ABC (%) /DE (%)| ABC (%) /DE (%)| English | 56. 7% / 43. 3%| 63. 2% / 36. 8%| 45. 6% / 54. 4%| Science| 75. 2% /24. 8%| 91. 2% / 8. 8%| 73. 9% / 26. 1%| Mathematics| 77. 5% / 22. 5%| 83. 8% / 16. 2%| 73. 8% / 26. 2%| Source: Ministry of Education of Malaysia, 2000, http://dapmalaysia. org/all-archive/English/2002/jul02/lks/lks1732.
htm From table 1, the result shows that students for primary school are quite high for the passing grade. Especially for Chinese primary school standard six students, they were scored very high percentages, 91. 2 in Mathematics and 83. 3% in Science. From the result of UPSR in 2000, it help Ministry of Education of Malaysia to convince educationists, teachers, parents and pupils that the introduction of the teaching of English in these two subjects can further raise student attainments in mathematics and science . (Siang, 2002) Besides, it not only helps in Science and Mathematics but also to improve English.
Therefore, Ministry of Education of Malaysia decided to implement English as medium of instruction in Science and Mathematics in year 2003. Students who were enrolling in Standard 1 and Form 1 in primary and secondary school respectively in year 2003 of school session will be affected. Besides, students of other grades are not affected, they will be continued to study science and mathematics in the mother tongue. There are some components to be change when PPSMI learning materials were offered. For example, textbooks for science and mathematics will be provide the basic source for learning on concepts and skills.
Activity books will be given as supplementary material for students to practice their understanding of the concepts learned from textbooks. But this activity books will only provide to students who are in Standard 1 only. On the other hand, students will get MyCD or Pupil’s CD-ROM. This CD will record the form of multimedia presentations; consist of an interactive games and simulators as well as electronic tests. Moreover, students will have glossary book that content of reference guide containing definition to terms pervasive in science and mathematics.
For the teachers of the subject, they will have materials prepared by Ministry of education as reference and also to guide to plan and implement effective teaching of the science and mathematics. Besides that, government also provides teacher’s CD-ROM. This material will help teachers to plan and implement effective teaching of the science and mathematics. In January 2003, a mixed medium of instruction was introduced to the all of primary schools and secondary schools. The National Primary School (Sekolah Kebangsaan) uses Bahasa Malaysia as medium of instruction for the subject expect Science and Mathematics.
On the other hand, SJK (T) (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Tamil) which is Tamil national-type school also will teach Science and Mathematics in English. Besides that, due to the pressure from the Chinese community, SJK(C) (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina) which is Chinese national-type schools, they will teach Science and Mathematics in English and Chinese. There are two types of language in different textbooks and student need to take 2 tests for Science and Mathematics. (John Lee, 2008) Besides that, National Secondary Schools are using Bahasa Malaysia as the main language of instruction.
But there are only exceptions are Science and Mathematics, these two subjects will be teaching in English in the year 2003. However, this system of education was implemented in year 2003, after 6 years, government decided to abandon the use of English in Science and Mathematics. In year 2009, government was decided to reverse back Science and Mathematics from English into Bahasa Malaysia and it will start implement in the year 2012. (John Lee, 2008) “The reversal of the teaching of Math and Science will be done in stages. ” said Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He also said that beginning 2012, students in Year One and Year Four in primary schools, and Form One and Form Four in secondary schools, will learn Math and Science in Bahasa Malaysia. The change will not affect those in Form Six and Matriculation. The two subjects will be taught in two languages until 2014 for other students. (Math and Science back to Bahasa, mother tongues (Update), 2009) According to Malaysian Ministry of Education, they found that during the implementation of PPSMI only 4% of Science and Mathematics teachers used 90% or more of English in the teaching and learning of the two subjects.
Majority of teachers used a mixture of Bahasa Malaysia and English. The reason is teachers had to switch to Bahasa Malaysia in their teaching because students could not understand lessons in English. (Malaysia K. P. , 2011) On the other hand, a study conducted by a group of educationists from the Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI) revealed that 70% of Form 2 student found it difficult to learn Science and Mathematics in English language. Besides that, another study done by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
(UKM) professor concluded that PPSMI limited student’s ability to understand Science and Mathematics concepts, therefore it resulting their poor performance in the two subjects. (Malaysia M. o. , 2011) According to a national news agency Bernama, they quoted Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad was expressed sadness when government decided to revert Science and Mathematics to previous language which is Bahasa Malaysia. He also said that “decision would adversely affect the children and make it difficult for them to keep abreast of scientific developments.
” (GOOCH, 2009) Conclusion Although policies were announced, changes were implemented, we aimed and we work towards the Vision 2020, through our education reforms, but it seems that we are still in a stagnant stage. Plenty of input but poor output. This neither the fault of the policies nor the lack of implementation nor even the people did not work hard enough to achieve the aim but our government is to be put on blame for the poor outcome of the reformation.
The Ministry of Education today is highly centralized, with strict high hierarchical command chain and rigid control whereas it should be more decentralized and more democratized structure with the lower levels were entrusted with more power and responsibilities. (Musa, 2003) References: GOOCH, L. (2009, july 09). In Malaysia, English Ban Raises Fears for Future. Retrieved from THE NEW YORK TIMES: http://www. nytimes. com/2009/07/10/world/asia/10iht-malay. html? ref=world Jawan, J. A. (2003). National Education Policy. In J. A. Jawan, Malaysian Politics & Government (pp.175-178).
Shah Alam: Karisma Publication Sdn Bhd. John Lee, T. P. (2008, september 09). Science and Math in English – Alternative Views. Retrieved from education in malaysia: http://educationmalaysia. blogspot. com/2008/09/science-and-math-in-english-alternative. html Malaysia, K. P. (2011). PPSMI – Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia. Retrieved from Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia: http://www. moe. gov. my/tayang. php? laman=ppsmi&unit=guru&bhs=my Malaysia, M. o. (2011, oct 5). Why PPSMI is abolished. Retrieved from the star online: