We propose that the Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad announces the yardsticks he uses to monitor the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English in all schools, so that parents will not be confused by what is meant by 'things are running smoothly.'

Press Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday):  We agree that it is necessary to have more English lessons in schools. Starting the subject at Primary One is logical. But, the teaching of Maths and Science in English in Primary One is controversial. Has Brunei done this earlier?

 As the Education Ministry has an allocation of over RM 26 billion, it is determined to spend big sums to prove that it is right in its policy. So, teachers had been sent to Langkawi to have special instructions in the teaching of Maths and Science in English. Whether or not these teachers benefited from the stay in Langkawi, they claimed for the expenses and allowance. Has there been wanton waste? Can they now teach the subjects in English?

 The Education Director-General has said that things are running smoothly and that there are only minor hiccups including the theft of computer equipment. What are the yardsticks for monitoring? How effective is monitoring in over 8,000 schools in the country?

 He says that the English Maths and Science courseware is developed by DEMC Anzagain Sdn Bhd. Who supply the computers and workbooks?

 Teachers push trolleys full of computers and courseware. These look impressive. We don't know how useful they are to teachers and students.

 While we like to think positive as suggested by Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat, we would like to know who supply the laptops. How long will these last or be out of date? How are they maintained? Has the Ministry been successful in
training teachers to be maintenance workers?

 Then, we turn to critical allowance for teachers who teach Maths, Science and English for 20 periods a week. How is this determined? As there is no critical allowance for other teachers, does it mean that they are not as


* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong