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Education – the foundation of a nation

WHEN the education minister said, “This includes ensuring the selected headmasters have the integrity and are trustworthy to hold such a positions” yesterday, it seems that, all this while, the past and current head of schools, departments and even education officers are low in their integrity level and not trustworthy.

This may be true as more and more exposure is given to the issue in the news, but may also include Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia, matriculations and departments, too.

Everywhere in the world, political philosophy has an inevitable impact on education and controls the government of a country.

Behind any education system’s characteristics and how it works, there will be political factors dictating the type of administration the educational system will have.

The education system is the foundation of a nation. Education makes man civilised and, therefore, the country, too. It makes mankind literate in ethics and moral values.

There’s always the saying, “half the task of a country’s development is done, if we have a well-nurtured and balanced education system”.

Almost all education systems in the world suffer from issues that needs to be addressed. When we have bigger problems, then the challenges are tougher.

The use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain is considered political corruption, but education officers are government officials. Thus, can it be called political corruption?

Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft and embezzlement, commonly seen in the education sector.

Corruption facilitates the misuse of power and it has also very much crept into the education system in Malaysia, which is not only deteriorating but affecting the country’s social and cultural areas as well.

Governments come and go, making so many promises and victimising innocent people, but in the end, it turns out to be another mirage of hopes.

The blend of education and corruption makes it a more deadly combo. Where the education system should just provide education and knowledge, it is providing more; money to corrupt politicians and businessmen. They see it as an another industry where money flows uninterrupted, irrespective of any recession.

A lot has to be done to make our education system flawless and put it at a par with those of developed countries.

Malaysia is said to be a developing country, which is known for its various cultures and traditions.

While we use the word “developing”, it means there are new ideas and changes coming up for Malaysia.

Being a Malaysian, it is the responsibility of each and every one of us to scrutinise this and contribute to the development of our country.

Education is the remedy for every country to cure its itlls and allow it to develop economically.

The media has played its role well in remaining critical when it comes to the Malaysia public education system.

Though some may use the term revamp and transformation, the fact is that the quantity of schooling that children experience and the quality of teaching they receive are extremely insufficient in government schools.

A common feature in all government schools is the low quality of education, with weak infrastructure and inadequate pedagogic attention.

Inequalities are common. The government is trying to improve the education system, particularly in rural areas.

It is imperative for the government to correct flaws in Malaysia’s education system, which will also be a step towards reducing income inequality.

The basic thrust of the government’s education spending today must surely be to ensure that all children have access to government schools and to raise the quality of education in those schools.

One proposal includes sharing of resources between private and public schools. A shift system is also another way through which common schooling can be achieved.

Some even say that the poor quality of education boils down to the poor quality of teachers in government schools. Therefore, teacher training programmes should be look into.

To improve the quality of education, the government needs to spend more money from its coffers on education.

Appropriate policy measures are needed to improve the education system. Otherwise, inequalities are going to be widespread.

We cannot deny the contributions of those who came before in the education system. However, loopholes,  corruption and politics cannot be overlooked or ignored in any way.

But we can hope for tremendous change that will make us appreciate our education system and generate new ideas to motivate the government and authorities to take the necessary steps to push the education system up.

“When learning is purposeful, creativity blossoms; when creativity blossoms, thinking emanates; when thinking emanates, knowledge is fully lit; when knowledge is lit, economy flourishes,” Dr Abdul Kalam Azad once said. – November 24, 2018.

* Kheru Khek is an educator and reads The Malaysian Insight.

Azizi Ahmad The Malaysian Insight Your Insight 24 November 2018

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