teaching of Science and Maths in English in Tamil schools

November 9th, 2008 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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As per earlier consensus, Tamil school representatives agreed that English should be used to teach Science and Math as per the status now. This is different from the stand of Chinese schools representatives.

The MIC said it will hold a special meeting with headmasters and parent-teacher associations (PTAs) from 522 Tamil primary schools nationwide to seek feedback on the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.

Party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said it was important to do so as the issue affected the entire community.

He said the previous consensus among Tamil school teachers and the PTAs was for both subjects to be taught in English.

Will there be a change of heart? What do you reader feel or think? Should English be continued to be used or should revert to Tamil? Or bilingual?

I don’t mind it being taught in English because of the resources available, and the ease in the future when students enter secondary school or tertiary education. Secondly, this will increase the amount of English language time in the school. The students can speak Tamil in school functions and daily activities in the school, in addition to Tamil language period.

However, proponents of Tamil as the medium can argue that materials are available in Tamil, and the possibility of those subjects being taught by non-Tamil teachers (less job for Indians). However, I think a clause can be included that the teacher of Science and Math must be bilingual so that can when necessary the teacher can provide explanation in either Tamil or English. By teaching in English, students will never learn science and maths terms in Tamil anymore.

Whatever it is, we must ensure that the adequate resources are available. No point saying English or Tamil when the schools lacks laptop, projector screens, power supply, Internet, or even competent teachers.

On another note, did you notice that the number of schools has become 522? Is it a printing error or wrong information provided by the Star? From 524, it became 523, and now 522? What is happening here?



  1. abi says:

    Question…Why does it look like MIC are running the tamil schools and not MOE? I would think if MIC wanted to have a say, it should be purely as a watchdog… Providing recommendations etc?

    Im not sure so im hoping you can give me your insight!

  2. farmer says:

    its better to use tamil to teach maths and english in tamil schools…students will understand the concept and exam questions easily whn mother tongue language is used.

  3. My daughter is less than 2 years old and she can understand both English and Japanese, and later will introduce Malay, Mandarin and Cantonese.


    I can’t see why we cannot take 1 step forward to integrate the BM textbooks few years back with the current English science and maths text books. Its a lot of effort, but why move backward instead of forward. We can allow students to use either English or BM to answer in the exams as long as the maths and science principles are correct.

    Some good will surely come out of the dialectics at work between both languages instead of choosing either one. We need new advancements. We need Malaysia Boleh. Not some power struggle between languages.

    When will Malaysia advance and not hold on to race and language as stumbling blocks but embrace our differences as advantages?

  4. Normanisha Sarmani says:


    My name is nisha and i am looking forward to get a teaching job in KL. I am 27 years of age, n currently am working as a tamil teacher in singapore in a primary school. I hold a Specialisation Diploma from the National Institute of education Singapore and i also have a BA degree in Psychology with Sociology from SIM, SIngapore Institute Of Management, both venues being Singapore’s top most universities. I had always wanted to work overseas and spread the love for tamil and help my fellow tamil society flourish…Malaysia being closer to home, i wish She can raise platforms for me to work here….Do u think its possible for me to work in Malaysia?

    • poobalan says:

      Hi Nisha,

      i don’t malaysian government offers teaching position to foreigners (well, if you are malaysian, then its easier.). the qualification you have may not be recognised by the malaysian government. you can checking the relevant websites. refer http://poobalan.com/blog/education-help/websites/

      you can give a try in private schools in KL which offer tamil. I think there’s one or two of them, but can’t recall the names. Try googling.