Tuesday 11 September 2012
Parent group: No oomph in education blueprint
The Parent Action Group for Education (Page) has expressed disappointment with the new education blueprint, claiming it is "nothing new".
Its chairperson Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim (right) said the preliminary report is merely "re-labelling" the Education Ministry's responsibilities.
"There is no oomph or wow factor. Basically they are rebranding or re-labelling things that are already the responsibility of the ministry," she said.
Met after the launch of the blueprint in Kuala Lumpur today, Noor Azimah expressed disappointment that "hot topics" like the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English have been avoided.
She also expressed surprise that the international experts consulted did not advise that English be the medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science.
She said this is even more surprising considering that experts consulted included a former education minister of South Korea.
"South Korea spends 50 percent of its education budget to teaching Mathematics and Science in English," she said.
"(The blueprint) is to ensure our kids are global players and I don't see that happening.
"We talk about science and innovation but all of this is in English so why don't we acknowledge that?"
Noor Azimah added that Page members had raised this matter in dialogue sessions by the ministry in preparation for the blueprint nationwide, and will provide feedback sought now.
The government is seeking public feedback on the preliminary blueprint for education (2013-2025), with the final plans to be presented to the cabinet in December.
According to the preliminary blueprint, Mathematics and Science performance will be improved by benchmarking school examinations against the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).
It aims to bring Malaysia, which currently sits at the bottom third of the PISA rankings to the top third among the countries ranked.
'Quality over quantity'
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Koh Tsu Koon said that the blueprint is timely as its focus on improving quality can push Malaysia to compete against the world's best.
"Before the focus was on quantity, on how many schools or students enrolled but the time has come for quality to be the main priority," he said.
He also lauded the attention given to teaching staff, as well as the push to make school principals the main leaders of a school.
Koh, who is also Gerakan president, added that the party will be sending a memorandum to the government on the blueprint, after it seeks views from stakeholders including parents and teachers.