Thursday, September 1, 2011

News: Ministry ropes in private varsities to help train English teachers

Ministry ropes in private varsities to help train English teachers

PETALING JAYA: The Education Minis­­­­try has roped in private universities to help train English language teachers.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said that with the Upholding Bahasa Malay­sia and Strengthening English policy, the hours for teaching English in primary schools would increase and more language teachers were needed.

“For this reason, we need help from private universities to help train more English teachers, including Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar),” he said after the signing of an agreement for Utar to train Korean students in English with Coree Corp Sdn Bhd yesterday.

Sealed deal: Wee (centre) witnessing the exchange of documents between Prof Chuah (left) and Choe in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

Dr Wee said the pioneer batch of 25 trainees recruited by the ministry had begun the programme in Utar last month.

The Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia students would undergo a five-year programme and graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree.

Dr Wee said that in the past, the Government used to send students to Australia and Britain but the tie-up with private universities would cut Government spending by at least 70% .

Meanwhile, Utar will also be taking in South Korean students to learn English through an immersion programme.

The first batch of 50 students will begin the intensive English Immersion in a Multicultural Society Programme at Utar’s Perak campus, Dr Wee said.

“Malaysia is an ideal place for South Koreans to learn English because it has a cost advantage compared with other English-speaking countries,” he said.

Utar president Prof Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik said he hoped the programme would contribute to the Government’s edu-tourism initiatives.

Coree Corp managing director Choe Geonil said South Korean students wanted to learn English because it was an important asset.

“They used to go to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and recently the Philippines.

“I think Malaysia offers a conducive environment,” he said.


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