September 12, 2012
Malaysia’s New Education Blue Print: A New Beginning
by http://www.malaysiakini.com (09-11-12)
Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled the country’s new education blueprint today, a process which began last October when the government embarked on a national dialogue with the aim of revamping the education system.
Members of the public will be able to view the blueprint during open days in the next three months. The final plan will be presented to cabinet in December.The full blueprint can be downloaded here.
- All Year 1 to Year 3 students to undergo Literacy and Numeracy screening (Linus) twice a year in both English and Bahasa Malaysia (currently Linus tests are done only for BM).
- After-school remedial classes for Years 4-6 (to phase out ‘remove’ classes for those with problems with English and BM after Year 6 by 2017).
- All English teachers must pass Cambridge placement tests within the next two years.
- Accelerated pathway for high performers: 5 years (instead of 6) for UPSR and 4 years (instead of 5) for SPM.
- Compulsory English Literature module in secondary school.
- Benchmark mathematics and science tests on the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (Timss).
- 11 years of compulsory schooling (up from 6 years); by 2020, all school leavers have SPM or equivalent qualification.
- All special needs students in equipped special schools by 2025.
- Each child to learn a third language by 2025 (starting with Chinese, Tamil and Arabic). Spanish, French and Japanese will be offered later.
- Each student must take part in community service.
- Some Moral Studies and Islamic Studies lessons will be conducted jointly, where there are shared values. Islamic and Moral Studies will also focus on core values of other major religions by 2017.
- Include private school students in Rancangan Integrasi Murid Untuk Perpaduan (RIMUP).
- Raise entry bar to teachers’ training, with the aim of having only the top 30 percent of graduates become teachers from 2013.
- Teachers to be assessed annually by principals, with input likely by peers and parents
- Fast track careers; high performers can be promoted from DG41 grade to DG54 in 25 years.
- Those who underperform to be redeployed to non-teaching tasks like co-curricular activities, discipline or administration.
- High-performing principals for rural or low-performing schools; New Principal Career Package, which includes coaching and on-boarding programmes, to be rolled out in waves in 2013.
- Teachers to do less administrative work and more teaching.
- Greater flexibility to schools for budget allocations and implementation of curriculum, starting from high-performing schools.
- 100 percent schools to have basic infrastructure by 2015 (starting with Sabah and Sarawak).
- 4G Internet for all schools by 2013 for pedagogy.
- 2,500 staff members moved from state education departments and the head office to district education departments.
- State and district education departments to have greater budgeting and personnel autonomy.
- Parents can access online monitoring of students’ progress.
- 500 more Trust schools.
- Annual report to gauge if blueprint targets have been met, starting 2013, be available for public consumption.
- Comprehensive review of the blueprint in 2015, 2020 and 2025.
- Focus funds on critical areas, like teacher training and cutting funds to non-critical programmes.
Comment: I congratulate the government for coming up with this new Education Blueprint. It is not perfect, but it is a very credible effort. I give the government the credit when it deserves it. Let us hope others do the same and cooperate to make it a blueprint for all Malaysians.
We have three months to make our views known to the Ministry of Education before the final report is tabled to the Cabinet for approval. Since education is intellectual capital development, we must read this blueprint carefully and then offer constructive suggestions.
After we do that, let us hope the bureaucrats at the Ministry of Education will listen and incorporate them in the final blueprint. Here is an opportunity for the government to listen to stakeholders (pupils and their parents and guardians).–Din Merican