LETTERS: THE Sarawak government has courageously taken the initiative to bring back the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) for Year 1 pupils in 1,026 primary schools beginning this year.
It is a wise step in the face of mounting challenges in this digital age.
It’s a step in the right direction as the world is now facing the onslaught of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0).
IR 4.0 embodies digitalisation and, therefore, graduates are expected to have a strong command of English if they wish to compete in the job market.
Many well-to-do families send their children overseas for their education and, upon their return to Malaysia, they have benefited tremendously from their overseas exposure.
In fact, many of them are presently holding high posts in the private sector and government agencies. Unfortunately, many local graduates have not been so fortunate.
The graduate unemployment rate was 9.6 per cent or 204,000 people at the end of 2018.
For the not-so-wealthy, their only hope is to wait for the government to bring back PPSMI to narrow the education disparity gap as quickly as possible.
While the parents in Sarawak are cheering with joy, how about parents in the other states?
A relative of mine graduated with impressive results from a local public university more than four years ago.
She had every reason to feel optimistic and excited when she went on stage to receive her scroll. But her optimism was short-lived as even though she secured a job soon after, it did not last and she has been jobless (and depressed) for the past two years now.
She is one of the thousands in the same dire situation. With their poor command of English, they failed to impress potential employers during job interviews.
Before I retired as a senior hotel executive in 2011, I had interviewed many local graduates. As expected, their command of English was weak.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times