PUTRAJAYA: Students must be given more opportunities to use English beyond the classroom.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said while there are sufficient English sessions in school and teachers work hard to ensure the language is taught, many students do not have the opportunity to converse in English at home.
He said competitions such as the Sunway-Oxbridge Essay Competition will help students to think, speak and write in English.
“It is in line with the second shift of the Malaysia Education Blueprint which states that every student has to be proficient in two languages.
“I hope this year, there will be more schools from rural areas that will participate as it is a good platform for them to have more exposure in English and speak the language,” he said when briefing reporters about the competition.
The competition is organised by the Sunway Group, the Oxford & Cambridge Society Malaysia, the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, Sunway University and Monash University Malaysia.
Kamalanathan said the competition, which is being organised for the fourth year, aims to improve the proficiency of English among students across the country.
He said students are invited to submit their essays on “Climate Action”.
Kamalanathan commended the organisers for their initiative, saying that the theme is relevant and requires participants to do some research and homework.
“A student needs to be aware and know how important climate and sustainable development is. This subject is very important.
“They may not be able to understand the entire topic but we want them to know what it is all about and what it means,” he said.
“When they conduct research online, it is all in English. They will need to understand what it means and write it. Therefore, indirectly, there will be thousands of students around the country who understand what climate action is about.”
He said the competition is a good platform to improve their general knowledge.