KUALA LUMPUR : The Ministry of Education is committed to maximising student outcomes for every ringgit because 16 per cent of the federal budget is spent on education - the largest proportion among all ministry budgets and one of the highest in the world.
According to the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 launched today by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister, the ministry will link every programme to clear student outcomes and annually rationalise programmes that have low impact, of which the grant for the following year would depend on the improvement shown in results.
In order to capture opportunities, the ministry will reallocate funds to the most important fields such as teacher training and upskilling.
"At the same time, the ministry will ensure that low-income families will continue to receive aid they need to keep their children in school, while high-income families who can afford more will receive significantly less aid," it says.
The 300-page blueprint also says that the state education departments and district education offices will be able to make key operational decisions in budgeting such as maintenance allocation for schools and in personnel such as the appointment of principals.
On top of that, schools will receive more hands-on support through the deployment of almost 2,500 teachers and principal coaches at district education offices in Malaysia with the goal of functioning as the first line of support for schools and their main point of contact with the rest of the ministry.
The ministry also gives assurance to promote 150 to 200 officers at state education offices and districts to the pivotal leadership position based on their performance and competency and not by tenure.
Besides, partial implementation of the plan will commence in 2014, with full implementation from 2016 as the ministry's transformation gathers momentum.
The blueprint says the ministry will also implement the school-based and national assessments (via the School Examination Analysis System) and initiatives that promote adult literacy, information communication technology (ICT) and parenting skills.
Through the shift, parents sign home-school agreements that specify simple actions they can take to help their children, including ensuring their children are always on time for school.
According to the blueprint, the ministry will expand the Trust School model to 500 schools by 2025 by including alumni groups and non-governmental organisations as potential sponsors.
In order to increase transparency for direct public accountability, the ministry will publish an annual public report on progress against the blueprint targets, starting from 2013 as well as conduct comprehensive stock-takes in 2015, 2020 and 2025. -- BERNAMA
New Straits Times Online Letters to the Editor 06 September 2013