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Appears in:
Pages: 5896-5903
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EDUCATION POLICY FOR GLOBALIZATION AND MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY: THE MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCES

A. Puteh, R. Khalid, M. Isya Awang

Universiti Utara Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
According to Tollefson (2004) the colonial language was adopted as a medium of instruction by a small number of schools and made available to an exclusive group of indigenous people. This exclusive group joined the elite of the society who had access to power, wealth, and status, and acted as auxiliaries to the colonizers and as brokers between the colonizers or as loyal working force (Pennycook, 2002). Formal education was made available by colonial governments through the indigenous languages, either as an alternative, or as a transitional medium of instruction. No matter whether the colonial language or the indigenous languages were used as the medium of instruction, the goal remained the same – to subjugate the colonized (Tellofson, 2004). The liberation of language policy to English was based on the assumption that the maintenance of extreme nationalistic language policies would have led to Malaysia’s economic and technological isolation because these policies would result in a lack of people who would be able to communicate effectively in English on the international scene (Gill, 2002).

The main issue in language policy in any country, especially those categorised as third world countries, is whether the policy is formed according to the agenda of the normal populace or the trans-national corporations. Spring, (1998:56) argued that “in this scenario elites need to be proficient in English in order to serve their own and global interest, and local languages must facilitate internal policing of an export – oriented economy and attempt to limit social unrest so that this economy can persist. Trans-national corporations are increasingly active in determining the content of education worldwide.” Stiglitz (2002:10) also claimed that “globalization is powerfully driven by international corporations.” . During the Colonial years, English was promoted in these colonised countries as an international communication language - a language to be used for the development of the economy, unity, and others. In the era of globalisation today, the English language has achieved this objective as was desired by the Colonisers before, to the extent of virtually dominating the global culture and linguistic ecology, while at the same time, many languages are losing their natural speakers and users, thus these languages would eventually fade away. In post colonial and post communist settings, educational policy should have multilingual aims and means and build on local resources rather than being articulated in terms of the false dichotomy (Fishman, 1968) between a local language and English.

In the early 1990s, under Dr.Mahathir as a Prime Minister he has reinstating English as the medium of instruction in higher education especially in fields of engineering, science and medicine. The change of policy was justified on the same political grounds that it is in the best interest of the nation. This change of policy was resulted a bifurcation policy in higher education, whereby public institutions of higher education retained Malay language as medium of instruction and private institutions of higher education were given freedom to use English as a medium of instruction (refer the Education Act 1995 and the Private Higher Education Act 1996). In 2003, the government declared that science and mathematics subjects would be taught in English in Standard One, Form One and Lower Six (Gill, 2004:118).
@InProceedings{PUTEH2011EDU,
author = {Puteh, A. and Khalid, R. and Isya Awang, M.},
title = {EDUCATION POLICY FOR GLOBALIZATION AND MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY: THE MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCES},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {5896-5903}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Puteh AU - R. Khalid AU - M. Isya Awang
TI - EDUCATION POLICY FOR GLOBALIZATION AND MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY: THE MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCES
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 5896
EP - 5903
ER -
A. Puteh, R. Khalid, M. Isya Awang (2011) EDUCATION POLICY FOR GLOBALIZATION AND MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY: THE MALAYSIAN EXPERIENCES, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 5896-5903.
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