Thursday, July 28, 2011

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on Thursday, July 28, 2011

Call on the government to set up a Parliamentary Select Committee to study the total revamping of the nation’s education system and policies.

A few days ago, Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government is planning a total revamp of the education system to promote a global mindset.

He said a team led by Director-General of Education Datuk Abd Ghafar Mahmud had been entrusted to prepare a report on the proposed review which was expected to be tabled to the prime minister and Cabinet for approval by the year end.The plan does not come as a surprise as it was already announced last year that the education system would be revamped under the 10th Malaysian Plan (10MP) in line with the government's move to create a first world talent base.

I welcome the revamp. Such revamp is necessary and timely as the nation certainly needs to produce innovative, analytical, thinking students who can compete in the globalised world.

As pointed by Muhyiddin himself, it was high time the system was revamped as the current policies were based on the 1956 Razak Report.

1956 was a long time ago and many policies have certainly gone outdated or are no longer suitable for the rapidly changing world.

One major complaint about our present education system is that it is too examination oriented so much so that our students have become bookworms who can study hard and excel in examinations but unfortunately do not think and analyze issues with a critical mind.

Even though the country is producing more students with straight As in PMR and SPM examinations but this is not an indication that our level of education is getting better.

In fact, Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) president Datin Azimah Rahim recently said that the examination grading has become too lenient ..

"There was a time when grade A meant 90 per cent correct answers but now grade A means about 70 per cent thus producing lower quality graduates and that has to change.” She was quoted as saying.

There are other weaknesses in the present system and policies.

Two other major complaints are firstly, our education system has been politicized and polarized, and secondly, the government is not giving fair and equal treatment to Tamil and Chinese primary schools .

Muhyiddin had mentioned that "although his ministry officials will do the necessary review but feedback from the ground, including parents and the parent-teacher associations will take place.

I call on the Government to establish a parliamentary select committee comprising members of parliament from all political parties to travel nationwide to get views and inputs from all and sundry.

This process will be the best manner to reach out and obtain the necessary feedback.

Thereafter this reported could be presented to Parliament for debate and adoption.

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