Which is which, Datuk Mary Yap? — BH TohJUNE 15 — One of the earliest statement made by Datuk Mary Yap upon her appintment as Deputy Education Minister was “I believe that one of my roles at the ministry will be to ensure the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 is well-implemented” Today, she was reported saying “the shelving of the policy to teach Mathematics and Science in English is only temporary.” What a puzzling surprise! I do not recall reading or hearing any such statement from PM, DPM, Education Minister or Ministry ever they made the decision to abolish PPSMI. I am very certain because I have been following this issue closely as my son was almost a direct casualty of this decision made in 2009. Just to be extra sure, I even spent the afternoon googling but found zero articles that reported so – nothing from either the online or printed medias. To top it all, this “temporary” was also not specified anywhere in the Malaysian Education Blueprint! So, which is which, Datuk Mary? When Prime Minister Najib announced your appointment, many lauded the decision for it supposedly brought a breath of fresh air very much needed in the education environment of our country. But within a short few weeks, you appeared to have mastered the oratory skills of a politician. Why did you not just be outright as hoped for by the rakyat and make a courageous decision by talking straight - that the new cabinet (or at least you as Deputy Education Minister) has now decided to re-look into this PPSMI issue. In another three years, a whole cohort of primary school children (beginning from those who started Std 1 in 2011 to those who will in 2016) would have been denied their option to study Science and Mathematics in English. How long will this “only temporary” be? It is time our leaders stop attempting to conjure something out of nothing. We parents are very sharp and constantly watching like a hawk.
* BH Toh reads The Malaysian Insider.