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Election Watch

Form PSC on education, urges Kit Siang

Source: Malaysiakini
Date: 13 September 2012

Despite three successive national education blueprints, Malaysia’s education standards continue to plummet, said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang. 

Therefore, he urged the prime minister to form a parliamentary select committee (PSC) on education and given a three-month deadline to report on the preliminary Malaysian education blueprint launched on Tuesday. 

“The incontrovertible fact is that in the past 13 years, Malaysia has had three education ministers and each has produced an education blueprint, but Malaysian educational standards have gone from bad to worse in this period. 

“One of the terms of reference of the parliamentary select committee on education should be to find out why the two previous education blueprints of the two former education ministers had the opposite results since 1999,” he said in a statement yesterday. 

The blueprint, which in now available for public feedback before being presenting to the cabinet in December, spells out the nation’s education plans from 2021 to 2025. 

It includes the replacement of ‘remove’ classes with after-school remedial classes, and that every student would learn at least three languages. An Education Delivery Unit is to monitor the implementation of the plan. 

Meanwhile, in a separate statement yesterday, Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies (CPPS) chairperson Ramon Navaratnam said there were five major gaps in the report that, if unaddressed, “would lead to greater polarisation and national disunity.” 

These are: 

- Recommendations on how to improve Bahasa Malaysia and English language proficiency in vernacular schools need to be spelled out to ensure proper implementation;

- There is no mention of the need to maintain ‘ethnic balance’ of the teaching staff;

- The causes of ethnically homogenous environments in schools were not adequately noted nor addressed;

- The document lacks ‘substantive data and statistics’ such as the breakdown of data among the 20 categories of schools across the nation, unlike previous education plans; and,

- There is no mention of how ‘national type’ schools can be incorporated as fully funded and national schools.

“It is in this context that CPPS feels that many of the community concerns raised by ordinary citizens and parents have been censured by some professionals and foreign and local consultants,” he said.

He urged the Education Ministry to release the reports used to draft the blueprint, including those from national dialogues chaired by Wan Mohd Zahid, and the education review panel chaired by Dzulkifli Abdul Razak.

“This will enable ordinary citizens to review these (reports) in the light of the blueprint document,” he said.

Inter-faith group wants all religions taught in schools 

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