The implementation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2015 will elevate the country’s education system to the top third of the world’s best education systems.
National Education Dialogue panellist Datuk Kamal D E Quadra said the plan outlines various aspirations through 11 shifts implemented in three waves to meet the needs of all citizens and to develop the country.
He said the government has taken a bold step to transform the education system for the better.
“It will benefit Malaysia and Malaysians. If everything is put in place as proposed in the blueprint, we should be moving towards the right direction,” he said.
Among the factors that will assist the government to improve the quality of education is to intensify internal and external performance management with a clear Key Performance Index that places high expectations on every individual.
The system will emphasise on capability building to help individuals achieve their goals, reward outstanding performance and address the problem of low performance with greater tact.
Kamal, who has 41 years’ experience in education, said students should be approached based on their abilities and capabilities.
“There is no point of pushing them too hard because they may just get demoralised when their peers are way ahead of them.
“And when they have reached a level where they can no longer cope, they will continue to fall,” explained the Sabahan.
As such, he proposed the introduction of two syllabi – one for beginners and another for the more advanced.
“Who knows through such an approach, it would help create interest among the beginners to move further ahead to a more advanced syllabus.
“Otherwise, they are equipped with the basics, which would allow them to pull through later in life,” he said.
Kamal pointed out that while Sabah students often get bad reviews for their poor command of English, “our students are doing very well in other subjects.
“So it is not fair to judge them over one bad subject”.
The Yayasan Sabah College Board of Directors chairman made his proposal during the consultation period for MEB 2013-2025.
He said the approach is not meant to segregate the students, but rather to create an avenue for special attention be given to those who need more help.
On a higher level, Kamal said there is a need to further promote vocational and technical subjects and skills in line with current market needs for industrial-based sectors such as the oil and gas industry.
“Take our college as an example, we have a welding course and even before the students graduate a few companies have come to check how many graduates we can produce.
“There is a demand in that field. But sometimes, the problem lies with the parents as some do not see the job prospects.
“Society needs to change their mindset and perception on jobs. It does not mean work that dirties your hands is bad,” said Kamal who was the former Sabah Education Department director.
He added that sufficient funding is necessary to ensure that teachers are equipped with the right tools.
“In the case of Sabah, we need a level playing field so both teachers in the urban and rural areas will be able to enjoy the benefits of these changes.
“I also believe that apart from improving student performance, the teachers must also be equally good. The world is changing fast and our challenge is also to modernise the teachers as well.
“They have to be tech-savvy as it would help them progress in their work.”
The STAR Online Home News Nation 02/09/2013