Read the statements in full -Results out -- International Maths and Science scores (TIMS)
Following my postings on Mukriz Mahathir's suggestion where I was asking some hard questions on his thinking process, stumbled upon the latest ranking result for fourth ( Standard 4) and eight graders (Form 2). One of his suggestion was in parotting his father's direction to have science and maths taught in English (non mother tongue). Both Malay and Chinese nationalists insists that it is the wrong strategy. So, lets look at the result and compare the medium of instruction in their public school system.
Similarly, the Washington Post (12/10,
Glod) reports, "Results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science
Study (TIMSS), released today, show how fourth- and eighth-graders in the United
States measure up to peers in dozens of countries. U.S. students showed gains in
math at both grades." Specifically, "the average score among fourth-graders has
jumped 11 points since 1995, to 529." Still, "students in Hong Kong, Singapore,
Taiwan, Japan, Russia, and England were among those posting a higher average.
Hong Kong topped the list with an average score of 607." Meanwhile, the "average
science performance" for students in the U.S., "although still stronger than in
many countries, has stagnated since 1995."
Hong Kong ( Mother tongue - Mandarin)
Singapore ( "Non mother tongue" - English)
Taiwan ( Mother tongue - Mandarin)
Japan ( Mother tongue - Japanese)
Russia ( Mother tongue - Russian)
England ( Mother tongue - English)
Could not find England's education detail in wiki and my informed guess is that the language would be English.. hehe.
Anyway, based on the ranking (which Malaysia is obviously not included) of results in both areas seemed to point that those who studied English and Mathematics in their mother tongue ( Grade 4 & 8) do perform better.
While Mahathir is very good in politics and have brilliant ideas, the educationists do have a point. Other researchs have also point towards using the language of the native towards teaching science and mathematics. This dipstick analysis is not conclusive yet the array of evidences are there to support this argument. However, we should not discount the robustness of the syllabus and the effectiveness of the governance that contributes to the result. Politicians that refuses to engage their brain to look at data and research before making judgements are just plain lazy. Some are calling Mukriz stupid, but I think he is a smart man but careless with facts.
So, do we want to do the right thing for our education system or do the politically correct thing?