Tuesday, June 28, 2011

300 English Volunteer Teachers to Malaysia under Fulbright Programme


WASHINGTON: Malaysia has asked the US State Department to consider sending 300 English volunteer teachers to Malaysia under the Fulbright Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who disclosed this, said the increased number sought was due to the Government's greater emphasis on English Language proficiency in schools.
He said he had held several rounds of discussions with Education Ministry officials on the matter and the consensus was that more volunteer teachers were needed.
Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, said students in rural schools in Terengganu were already being taught English under a US-funded English Language assistance programme, with an English Language Teacher Development Project being conducted by the British Council in Sabah and Sarawak.
"But we are hoping that the US Government will consider increasing the volunteers pledged to us under the Fullbright Programme to 300.
"We have agreed to finance part of the costs, such as accommodation and allowances involved, and have set aside an initial allocation of US$1mil (RM3mil)," he told Malaysian journalists accompanying him on his visit here.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said in New York last month that the first batch of 30 Fullbright volunteer teachers was expected to arrive in Malaysia by September.
Najib had mooted the proposal to President Barack Obama during the Asean-US meeting last year.
The PM proposed that the US revive its Peace Corps programme to help raise the English Language proficiency within Asean.
Muhyiddin said he was confident that with more English Language experts interacting with pupils and teachers, their language skills would improve.
"We are already seeing encouraging signs with pupils displaying great enthusiasm," he added.
Muhyiddin said an memorandum of understanding will be signed with the US on the Fulbright English volunteer programme, adding that a draft proposal would be sent over to the State Department for its consideration.

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