“Education in Malaysia :
Enhancing National Education Agenda”
19th April 2010
The comment by the Deputy Prime Minister(who is also the Education Minister) in “Malays Lagging Behind in Education“(NST-16.4.2010) and the follow-up article “Experts :Problem lies with Malay Community itself“(NST-19.4.2010) raised unsettled issues which may be considered as challenges akin to the challenges raised in Malaysia’s Vision 2020
However, these issues will remain unresolved unless the fundamental educational framework is understood and followed by stakeholders in catapulting a teutonic shift in the rethinking of the current education policy and the resultant education implementation blueprints.
The perceived educational lag as observed by the Deputy Prime Minister and the supplementary issues voiced by Datuk Mohamed Ali Hassan are not merely evident within the Malay society. The Chinese, the Indian and other races face similar predicament on a broadband comparison.
Whatever it is, the real challenges lie in the cohesive implementation of the National Education Policy which have been interpreted differently according to different approaches taken by major stakeholders as a result of conflicting cultural and racial perception vis-a-vis the demands of the K-economy of the 21st century. The following are critical areas which requires urgent redress :-
1 An Education Oversight Agency/Unit which supervises the proper implementation of the National Education Blueprint within the three contrasting education systems in Malaysia(with regards to the present National Education Blueprint 2006-2010 in the light of the National Philosophy of Education);
2 A true One Education System which abides to Malaysia’s unique identity as enshrined in the Federal Constitution(see Article 152 of the Federal Constitution which provides that Malay is the official language of Malaysia and see also the educational creation of a “Negara Bangsa” as one of the first strategic challenges in the Vision 2020);
3 The preservation and enhancement of the Malay Language as a scientific national language(See the Main objective of the Education Act 1961);
4 The implementation of the English medium in the lower education structure (cross-reference to the objective of the Education Act 1961;
5 A public participatory system with input from the public in the transparent assessment of the Government Transformation Programme and related-government-initiated programmes and/or policy of public interest (no public participation in the assessment aspect); and
6 A living Biro Tata Negara/BTN course that promotes religio-cultural understanding and tolerance by incorporation of current issues of public interests (and a need for a non-intrusive and non-inflammatory approach in presentation of the events, etc).
Racial, cultural and religious backgrounds cannot be taken as real indicators any longer in the assessment of the achievement -or failure- of the National Education Policy simply because a triumph by a single racial denomination is no triumph at all under the One Malaysia Transformation vision and objectives.
Jeong Chun phuoc
and an advocate in Competitive Environmental Intelligence(SEI)
He can be contacted at [email protected]