KUALA LUMPUR: THE Ministry of Education is at the starting point of its journey to develop an education system that is comparable with the best systems in the world. The National Education Blueprint provides the framework for the ministry to achieve this goal.
However, the ministry acknowledges that the framework alone is not enough to attain this goal and that it needs to transform at all levels — the ministry itself, states, districts, schools, principals, and teachers — to ensure successful implementation.
This transformation is a colossal task that will only succeed through the combined efforts of all stakeholders, said Dr Hayati Ismail, one of the project managers at the Ministry’s Project Management Office, Education Performance and Future Direction.
Towards this, she said, the ministry has outlined several initiatives and carefully planned the steps it will take to avoid initiative overload and ensure sustained improvement throughout the three waves (2013-2025) of the Education Blueprint.
She said the ministry was in the midst of preparing the announcement of its 100-day achievement which will provide an outline on the course of action and completion of all the targets set in the 100 days of the initiative.
“The first 100 days is wherewhen the foundation for success is built. It will set the pathway for the successful implementation of the new system.”
She also said the ministry has streamlined 100 initiatives in order to roll out the reforms and improve the education system.
“Of the 100, we have identified 25 initiatives as priority areas to focus on,” added Hayati.
The 25 initiatives include the transformation of vocational education, upgrading of teacher‘s teachers’ skills based on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), upgrading the quality of English teachers, LINUS 2.0 (including English literacy) rolled out to all primary schools, Teacher Charter, Principal Charter and District Transformation Programme, among others.
This, she said, is an ongoing task which will be carried out until 2015.
“These initiatives are being carried out under the 1Agenda programme which combines all the initiatives from the National Key Results Area (NKRA), the National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) and existing programmes. It sees all divisions in the ministry working together towards a common goal,” she said.
To ensure the success of the endeavour, Hayati said programme managers have been selected to oversee the implementation of each of the initiatives. They are required to monitor, observe and submit weekly reports and identify issues that need to be addressed.
The ministry, she added, has also set the targets to be achieved by the end of this year.
Among others, the ministry is looking at achieving 50 per cent reduction in Band 6 and 7 schools in Kedah and Sabah, 88 per cent preschool enrolment, 50 per cent of English teachers completing their skills upgrading course, the establishment of 10 new schools for International Baccalaureate and 18 High Performance Schools, 100 per cent in literacy in Bahasa Malaysia and in numeracy in Bahasa Malaysia for Year Three and a significant increase in English literacy and all 1,608 schools requiring critical repairs fixed.
Subsequently, as the system improves, Hayati said the ministry will roll out more reforms to curricular and school assessment, and provide more operational flexibility to states, districts, and schools.
Chandra Devi Renganayar | email@example.com The New Straits Times Online 08 April 2013