KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 – Private institutions of higher learning (IPTS) are not ready to implement a higher Malaysian University English Test (MUET) score as entry requirement into university. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said although the government wanted to standardise the raise in entry requirement, however, they must take into consideration the preparedness of private institutions.
“Basically, I agree with the standardisation…but this is a big initiative we are starting at the government level and implementing in public institutions of higher learning (IPTA) first,” he said when answering a question from Datuk Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong) at the Dewan Rakyat today. Noraini wanted to know if the ministry planned to standardise the higher MUET score requirement between the IPTA and IPTS.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, is holding talks with the IPTS with regard to the proposed requirement. In the tabling of Budget 2015, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced a higher score for MUET for entry into IPTA, starting next year. Currently, the minimum entry requirement is a Muet Band 1.
Starting next year, the minimum MUET requirement is increased, according to the field of study, Band 2 for Arts and Social Sciences, Band 3 for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) courses and Band 4 for Law and Medical courses. The requirement for graduates is that they must achieve Band 3 for Arts and Social Science, Band 4 for Stem and Band 5 for Law and Medicine.
Muhyiddin said the effort was taken to increase graduate proficiency to communicate in English. “We will see how this goes as many aspects need to be considered…in the early stage, we want to see its effectiveness in the IPTA,” he added. Muhyiddin said, for continuous excellence in the learning of English, the ministry needed to retrain teachers although they had reached global standards.
He said periodic monitoring of teachers was necessary so that standards were met, as well as to ensure the success of students through initial examination or tests carried out in school. “We continue to monitor their achievement in order to improve the quality of learning in the classroom and courses taken by teachers,” he said.
To a question by Tan Seng Giaw (DAP-Kepong) on efforts to improve English proficiency among teachers, Muhyiddin said the English Language Teaching Programmes (Pro-ELT) had been carried out, involving 5,010 teachers last year. Of this number, 76.4 percent have successfully increased their proficiency by at least one Band. He said 9,002 teachers were currently pursuing the course which was expected to end in April next year.