Starting 2018, only imported textbooks for the English Language will be used in schools, thus retiring the locally published ones. This policy was executed to align with the new Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), according to The Star.
Here are the pioneer batch of students that will get to enjoy freshly-printed textbooks.
- Year One and Two pupils
- Form One and Two students
Primary school pupils will be using ‘Super Minds’ from Cambridge University Press, while secondary students will receive ‘Pulse 2’ from MacMillan.
It was said that these imported textbooks can significantly improve the students’ English Language proficiency. However, Zairil Khir Johari who is the Bukit Bendera MP, browsed through the imported textbooks and pointed out that the teaching materials are actually designed for Spanish students, and not Malaysians.
Here are the reasons he believes so, along with some other concerns.
1. Students must have basic Spanish knowledge to answer some of the questions
“On page 8 of the Pulse 2 textbook for Form 1 students, Exercise 5 asks students what is the Spanish word for poster. The answer is ‘cartel’.
“A second question asks the students, ‘How do you say lápiz in English?’ The answer is ‘pencil’, but how would any Malaysian student answer any of these questions unless they have exposure to Spanish?” Zairil said.
2. Students are asked to watch a non-Malaysian TV channel
“One instruction in the book requires students to watch a programme on Channel 4, which is a UK TV station that is not available in Malaysia.”
3. The publisher hired by the Ministry of Education to adapt the books for local use overlooked a few mistakes
First, a Spanish link that should’ve been removed was still there. Apparently, the local publisher forgot to delete it. And then…
“The local publisher, Kumpulan Desa Fikir, had inadvertently forgotten to replace the caption ‘Printed and bound in Spain by Edelvives’ on the last page of the book,” he added.
FYI, the books were actually printed locally by BHS Book Printing in Cheras.
4. Imported textbooks have “zero local content” relevant to Malaysians
In fact, the examples cited in the books are meant for those studying in the United Kingdom.
“The Pulse 2 book describes an Amish teenager’s visit to London or volunteering themselves at Dartmoor National Park.”
What happened to our Zoo Negara? 🙁
5. Imported textbooks are so much more expensive than the locally published ones
Here’s how much they cost.
Super Minds – RM38.80 per copy
Pulse 2 – RM38 per copy
Locally published books – less than RM10 per copy
Current enrolment figures stand at 450,000 and 400,000 pupils for Year One and Form 1 respectively. As such, the government would have to spend RM33 million to buy these expensive textbooks for all the pupils.
Besides, Zairil also slammed the ministry for purchasing the books without an open tender. Oh come on, not again…
The ministry’s intention to boost the English Language proficiency among pupils is commendable, but is it really necessary to use imported textbooks? Tell us what you think in the comment section!
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