SPM EXAM: 2016 will be right time to implement it as preparations have been made, says Muhyiddin PORT DICKSON: IN 2016, it may be compulsory to pass the English Language paper in order to get the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister, said secondary students would need to at least pass the subject to get a full SPM certificate. "The ministry has found that the policy to strengthen the mastery of English by bringing in native speakers to teach our teachers as well as students nationwide has shown positive results. "Now under the first wave of the (three waves) Malaysia Education Blueprint Plan (2013-2015), we are retraining 61,000 English Language teachers from primary and secondary schools nationwide to be more skillful in the language. "Thus, maybe we would like to propose this implementation (that English be made a must-pass subject) in 2016 during the second wave of the plan," said Muhyiddin after launching the state-level "Strengthen the English Language Literacy and Proficiency" programme at SK Kampung Baru Sirusa here yesterday. He said 2016 would be the right time to implement it as preparation towards this was being made in the first wave. However, Muhyiddin said the implementation depended on discussion and agreement by all relevant parties, and when enough preparations had been made. "I will make the final decision on this," he said. Muhyiddin said the ministry was aware that there were students who would require assistance if this was implemented. "As it is under our existing curriculum, about 20 per cent of our secondary students fail the English Language subject but I am confident when we make it compulsory to pass in the SPM, this statistic will drop. "We will focus on the weak students by providing tuition and extra classes at selected schools to the students that we feel need our intervention. "I believe that through such measures, these students will at least get a pass, if not a credit, in the subject," he said. Muhyiddin said students who fail the English Language subject would have the option of re-sitting the paper in July, after the announcement of the SPM results. "If they pass the subject in July , then we would recognise it and give them a full SPM certificate," he said. Also present at the function were Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, State Secretary Datuk Mat Ali Hassan and State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Razak Mansor. Muhyiddin, who was on a one-day visit to Negri Sembilan, later joined 2,000 Muslims to perform Friday prayers at the Kampung Paya Kariah mosque and had lunch with the residents at the same location. He ended his visit with the ground breaking of the Ladang Tanah Merah People's Housing project at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ladang Tanah Merah.