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English proficiency compulsory for lecturers in Malaysia

All lecturers in Malaysia's public institutions of higher learning must be fully proficient in English language so that they can help students in passing and mastering the subject.

KUALA LUMPUR: All lecturers in public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) in the country must be fully proficient in the English language so that they can assist students in passing and mastering the subject.

The Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Prof Datuk Dr Raduan Che Rose said in keeping with the new policy of English being a compulsory subject in public universities, the availability of lecturers who were competent and could communicate and write well in English was of utmost importance.

"At present, universities are faced with the same problems that schools have, namely the teaching force is not completely conversant in English," he told Bernama on Wednesday (Sep 3).

Raduan, who is also the secretary-general of the National Professors Council, said the aim of having graduates who mastered and passed the English Language would not be achieved if the teaching force was not proficient in English, especially when teaching.

"Like it or not, every lecturer must prepare themselves so that they could teach in English," he said.

On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a new policy to make English a compulsory subject for students in public universities to pass, besides Bahasa Melayu.

Meanwhile, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) vice-chancellor Dr Zakaria Kasa said proficiency in English should begin at the early schooling stage as time was needed to master it and to build confidence among students to communicate in it.

"If initiated at the university stage, we need a lot of effort including holding extra courses such as communicating in English, so that they can talk, be brave and are confident when using the language," he said.

However, he added, UPSI was committed in ensuring that all its students pass the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) at least at band 3 before completing their studies so that they could enter the job market. 

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