DAP Calls for more sympathetic approach by Minister of Education

MCE Failures: DAP Calls for more sympathetic approach by Minister of Education

The DAP is shocked at the unsympathetic and inflexible attitude shown by the Minister of Education, Inche Hussein Onn, towards the 7,500 failures in last year’s MCE Examination because of failure in the compulsory Bahasa Malaysia paper.

Inche Hussein Onn has refused to allow those who would have qualified to proceed to Form Six if they had passed the Bahasa Malaysia paper to enter From Six with the proviso that they repeat the MCE Bahasa Malaysia paper at the end of the year.

All that Inche Hussein Onn would undertake is to ‘do his best’ to retain them in Fifth Form classes ‘if enough places were available’.

This is most unsatisfactory. Any independent and impartial inquiry into the causes of such a high percentage of MCE Bahasa Malaysia failures will reveal that the blame must lie mainly on the shoulders of the Ministry of Education.

In it haste to introduce the compulsory Bahasa Malaysia paper to satisfy language fanatics, the Ministry of Education has decided to sacrifice the future of thousands of MCE students.

In many schools, there are insufficient trained and qualified Bahasa Malaysia teachers to prepare the students for the Bahasa Malaysia paper.

This is the main reason for the high rate of Bahasa Malaysia failures.

Inche Hussein Onn may be right that last year’s MCE examination passes had increased compared with the previous year. But if we compare the results by a breakdown between the national schools and national-type schools, we will see that this overall increase of passes had been achieved by the great increase of passes in national schools and increase of failures in national-type schools.

The majority of the 7,500 students who had failed had achieved good results in other subjects. Some of them had even secured seven or eight distinctions. It is unbelievable that students who could secure distinctions in difficult subjects like mathematics and science could not even manage a pass in the Bahasa Malaysia paper, if there had been proper teaching of Bahasa Malaysia in the national-type schools.

To require students who had done exceedingly well in scoring several distinctions in other subjects to repeat the entire examination will not only be a waste of another year for the students, it will also be a waste to the country which should press forward to train and educate as many qualified personnel as possible to man the country’s industrialisation and modernisation programmes.

I urge the Minister of Education to give sympathetic consideration again to the problem, and allow these failures to proceed to Form Six if they had the other qualifications and to repeat the MCE Bahasa Malaysia paper at the end of the year. This will also give confidence to the public that the Ministry is more interested about problems of education than problems of politics.

We are perturbed that the Minister of Education has said nothing about what plans his Ministry is taking to improve the teaching of Bahasa Malaysia paper in the national-type secondary schools. This is an urgent problem which calls for immediate attention.