Mastering English : Dr Mahathir tells educators to play major role

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KUALA NERUS (Jan 7): Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today reminded educators to continue playing their roles to realise the desire of the government in producing a generation who could master English.

The Prime Minister said the role of teachers is important to shape and determine future Malaysians and therefore the government is giving serious focus on education.

"Do not let it become a political issue and deny the people the opportunity to master knowledge due to the political interests of certain groups. We need to master English and I hope educators would give priority to master it as it is the language of science and technology. 

“Education now will continue to change so that we receive more benefits from our country's education system,” he said when speaking at a gathering with educators in Terengganu here today.

Also present were his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Samsuri Mokhtar, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah Raja Ahmad as well as 1,000 educators.

The event was the first programme of Dr Mahathir's one-day working visit to Terengganu today. It is also the first visit by the Prime Minister after Pakatan Harapan (PH) won the 14th general election in May last year.

Dr Mahathir said the government would be introducing an education system directed more towards programmes to shape Malaysians to be more competent and is able to advance Malaysia more rapidly than before.  

"Our education policy is not only to impart knowledge but also to form good personality. For this, we need to also focus on our religious teachings (Islam)...about the values of life needed to be held in Islam. I hope all teachers will also look into the matter.    

"We will be changing the curriculum in school to focus on mastering the real Islamic teachings, English as well as science and technology...so that we could stand tall among other people in the world,” he said.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir said the PH-led government is now restoring and developing the country to be better than before and in this direction, education would be given priority.   

In his speech, Dr Mahathir said the federal government is always prepared to forge good relations with the Terengganu state government in the interest of the people.

Meanwhile, Dr Ahmad Samsuri said Dr Mahathir's visit reflected the proactive ties between the state and federal governments towards a balanced regional development. 

"The Terengganu government will continue several projects in the Third Rolling Plan under the 11th Malaysia Plan (RMK11).

"We would like to thank the federal government for continuing eight projects under the Irrigation and Drainage Department, to empower East Coast economic regional development initiatives including reconsidering the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) on a reasonable scale,” he said.

Ahmad Samsuri said the cooperation is a start for closer ties in future as the catalyst towards a more competitive Terengganu as well as to meet the target of making Malaysia as a global economic player.