KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — The Education Ministry will buy imported English textbooks to implement a curriculum aligned with the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR) next year.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan told The Star newspapers that pre-schoolers, Year One and Two pupils, Form One and Two students will be the pioneers of the new curriculum.
“The ministry will buy off-the-shelf book to cater to schools because locally produced textbooks are not able to meet the new CEFR levels,” he was quoted as saying.
According to the report, primary school students will use the Super Minds from Cambridge University Press while MacMillan’s Pulse 2 will be used for secondary students.
Checks by the English daily revealed that the price of the books hovered between RM78 and RM135.
Kamalanathan said the books were already made available in schools and that teachers were undergoing training to master the new syllabus.
“This is part of the ministry’s English reform to ensure students achieve proficiency levels aligned to international standards,” he was quoted as saying.
The report noted that CEFR has six grades with C2 — or “specialist English Language teachers” — being the highest and A1 the lowest.
English teachers must get a minimum score of C1 in order to teach the curriculum, the report said.
In a separate report, parent-teacher groups lauded the move but questioned the efficiency of implementing the programme here.
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said while it was “vital” to have the right textbooks, the quality of teachers must also be looked at.
“If teachers with ‘a little bit of English’ are chosen, the programme will surely fail,” she was quoted as saying.
Educationist Devinder Raj reportedly said that using the international textbooks was not “culturally” appropriate or at least for the rural students who may not know the differences of four season or festivals in Britain.
He suggested that the Education Ministry to at least amend the names and places to reflect a Malaysian culture for better understanding.