Swedish Education First’s English Proficiency test in Malaysia ”not representative”

In its strive to highlight any positive results, Malaysia’s government should not resort to be using unscientific and questionable studies to convince themselves, MP from Bukit Bendera, Mr Zairil Khir Johari remarks in a statement.

Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan has resorted to using such a misleading and statically invalid survey to claim that Malaysians have the best command of English in Asia.

According to the MP the English Proficiency Index by Sweden-based EF Education First, drew its results from a sample that was not representative of the population.

EF“In the case of EF Education First’s English Proficiency Index, the sample is neither representative nor randomly selected. Instead, participants voluntarily choose to take part, hence greatly increasing the margin of error and the probability of an unrepresentative sample. Such a survey cannot be considered scientific or a statistically valid evaluation.”

Kamalanathan told a students’ conference in Kuala Lumpur that Malaysians’ English was better than Singapore’s, and that the country ranked number one in Asia, news portal Malaysiakini had reported.

He said last year, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) highlighted the poor English skills among Malaysian graduates by quoting a 2011 study by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), which found that 60% of firms surveyed said an applicant’s low command of English was the main reason he failed the interview.

“Instead of making empty boasts based on questionable sources, our education ministers should concentrate on improving our quality of education,” said Zairil.

Read full story on questionable English proficiency reporting in Malaysia

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