Joint Statement Released by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

Joint Statement Released by Dong Zong and Jiao Zong

April 9, 2019


In response to the Prime Minister Tun Mahathir’s announcement informing the government would reactivate the Use of English in Math and Science Teaching policy, Dong Zong and Jiao Zong are greatly concerned and hereby forward their stance proper:


  1. Dong Zong understands that when Tun Mahathir was assuming Prime Minister in 2003, the Use of English in Math and Science Teaching policy was forced forward despite resentment. Nonetheless, this anti-language acquisition policy ended up a failure as it neither promoted students’ English proficiency nor improved students’ knowledge on Math and Science but worse still, brought about detrimental consequences. The then Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin admitted on 23 June 2009 that the measure had been implemented for six years yet the effectiveness was only between a meager 2 to 3 percent. The report later resulted in the abolishment of the policy in July 2009. Now that Tun Mahathir assumes the Prime Minister once again and his insistence on the reactivation of the said policy is greatly lamented by Dong Zong.


  1. Dong Jiao Zong opines that the superiority of using mother tongue as medium of instruction has since won the recognisation from UNESCO and accepted as a global norm. There is indication Math and Science in particular are uneasy to master even with the most familiar language as medium of instruction; thus, it will further affect learning if an unfamiliar language is employed to teach and learn. Attributed to this, based on the mother tongue education principle, Dong Jiao Zong vehemently opposes to follow suit: viz., to use English as medium of instruction in Math and Science teaching in national-type Chinese primary schools for the very fact of deteriorating the students’ Math and Science learning and posing harm to the schools’ unique characteristics and environment of mother tongue education.


  1. Dong Jiao Zong posits that English as the lingua franca and technology language is undeniable in terms of its importance, and it is crucial for students nowadays to hone their English proficiency for future demands. To acquire English proficiency, second language acquisition theories need to be referred to and to begin with, comprehensive reform and promotion packages should be in place. Dong Zong thus reckons, to promote English proficiency, its objectives, curriculum, teaching duration, learning materials, pedagogical approaches, teaching force and facilities, etc. need to be reviewed, let alone complying with proven education theories.


  1. The Use of English in Math and Science Teaching policy implemented from 2003 to 2006 was an unsuccessful one and it further weakens and marginalises the status of mother tongue in vernacular schools nationwide. On this account, we urge the government to learn from the lesson and not to repeat the mistake by scarificing most students’ learning right as it harms national education. Meanwhile, Dong Jiao Zong also calls all Chinese communities and stakeholders, including schools, parents and alumni for a strong unanimous opposition towards the reactivation of the said policy, not only to simultaneously safeguard national-type Chinese primary schools’ unique characteristics, but also ensure optimal learning in Math and Science.