Saturday, March 10, 2012

Parents rally in support of PPSMI (VIDEO)

‘No PPSMI, no votes for BN’

The BN-led government risks losing votes from angry pro-English-language parents if they do not bring back the PPSMI

PETALING JAYA: Put English back in schools, or risk losing votes in the next General Election.
Concerned Parents of Selangor (CPS) chairman Shamsudin Hamid, said this today at a rally held at Dataran PJ opposite Amcorp Mall at 10am.

The rally was organised to pressure the government to reinstate the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy.

“I will not touch on the political angle (of the matter), but looking at it realistically, if you want votes, you’ll have to consider who your voters are,” he said.

His words were a thinly-veiled threat aimed at the BN-led government, which may be looking to announce the General Election soon.

Last year, the Education Ministry decided to abolish the PPSMI in favour of the “Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening the English Language (MBMMBI)” policy.

In November 2011, Deputy Prime Minsiter and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin stressed that the government was no longer interested in debating the matter.

This announcement came as a shock to many parents, who wanted their children to be instructed in the English language.

New pressure group launched

Among the pro-PPSMI groups were the Herald of Penang Education (HOPE), Malacca Action Group of Parents in Education (MAGPIE) and Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE).

Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne and Subang Jaya assemblywoman Hannah Yeoh were also present. Together, they numbered about 200. They then signed a charter asking for the English language policy to be reinstated.

(FMT noticed that a good portion of the crowd were not parents, but journalism students from HELP.) They too, called on the government to engage parent groups across the country.

The groups then announced the formation of ASPIRE (Association of Parent Groups in Reforming Education), a national coalition of concerned parents.

According to Shamsudin, today’s numbers were not discouraging. He said that more than 250,000 parents had already shown their support for the PPSMI online.

Thousands of parents, he added, had also written letters in support of the policy. Reinstating the PPSMI, as far as Shamsudin was concerned, would be no problem for the government.

He said that if the government could repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), it could bring back the PPSMI. The crowd dispersed peacefully at 12 noon.

A crowd of parents showed up at a rally in Petaling Jaya asking for the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI) policy to be retained indefinitely as an option in schools.

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