EIGHT out of 10 Johoreans want the return of English-medium schools in the state, a recent survey showed.
The survey by Singapore’s Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) showed the support (82%) for English-medium schools cuts across all races in the state.
“This support is strong across all demographic segments, even among Malay and rural respondents who in the past were not that supportive of the Dual Language Programme (DLP) to teach mathematics and science in English,” said ISEAS.
The survey, which was released on November 13, said the support was highest among Indians at 88%, followed by Chinese (87%) and Malays (77%).
The survey said Johoreans’ preference for English-medium schools could be due to the success of Singapore's graduate competency in the language, making them more internationally employable.
The findings also debunk the belief the Chinese and Indians are reluctant to support a single stream education system in the country.
“The strong support among Chinese and Indian respondents for the ‘One School for All’ concept contradicts the prevailing belief that they do not support the idea because it would mean closing down Tamil and Chinese schools,” said ISEAS.
The study noted the strong support from Chinese and Indians for the single stream education system could be due to the impression Johor will introduce an education system modelled after Singapore’s English medium school system which was actively promoted by Johor ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.
The survey was conducted in May and June, where 2,011 respondents were interviewed via telephones.
Respondents consisted of Malaysian citizens aged 18 and above who resided in Johor.
There were 1,104 (55% ethnic) Malay respondents, 758 (38%) ethnic Chinese respondents, and 149 (7%) ethnic Indian respondents.
Of these, 340 respondents were between the ages of 21-30-years-old; 455 between the ages of 31-40-years-old; 546 between the ages of 41-50-years-old; 409 respondents between the ages of 51-60-years-old; and 261 respondents above 61.