KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): The government will be steadfast in its decisions and initiatives to carry put plans under the National Education Blueprint 2013 - 2026, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.
Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister, said the government has a clear idea of improving the education system in the country and no party is going to affect that.
"I, as education minister who has been given the responsibility, am not going to go back and forth (on the implementation of the education blueprint)," the Umno deputy president said in his wrap-up speech at the Umno Annual General Assembly.
"The government is going to be stern about the implementation of initiatives.
"We will not be swayed or deterred by the opinions or efforts of other parties because the initiatives under the blueprint aims to elevate the status of Malaysians through education," he added.
The National Education Blueprint underlines the government’s plans to revise the education system and includes programmes to improve English proficiency and teaching capabilities of teachers and increase the performances of students.
However, parents had criticised the government for not reinstating the policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), which was abolished about two years ago.
He also said the Education Ministry will be introducing an Islamic syllabus in community colleges to strengthen the faith of Muslims in the nation so as to not be fallible to deviant influences.
"I have discussed with the prime minister to widen the role of community colleges in the country by offering a syllabus to encourage lifelong Islamic studies," he said.
Muhyiddin said the education model has already been implemented in four religious schools in Terengganu but it will be introduced in others next year, with one religious school in each state selected to carry out the model.
"Under this model, students will be taught to memorise the Quran before they complete their SPM," he said.
"The syllabus will be based on the tenets of the Quran and the Hadith," he added.
He also said the government has initiated in-depth studies into the implementation of the students loans offered by the National Higher Education Loan Fund (PTPTN) and will study the suggestion from a student delegate earlier on revising the waives offered to students with first class honours degrees.
The student delegate had said in his debate that most Bumiputera students often could not enjoy the waive as not many of them can attain the first class honours degrees and called the government to offer cuts for those consistently scoring three pointers and above.
Muhyiddin also promised to alleviate the responsibilities shouldered by teachers with regards to the new online system which requires teachers to key in results of students.
Teachers have complained that the system is unable to process the information quickly and many have to wait for hours to register the data online.
Muhyiddin said the problem does not lie with the online system, but the implementation of the model and the Education Ministry will look into the matter.
On another matter, Muhyiddin also said the implementation of a Key Performance Index (KPI) within the ranks of the party, as announced by prime minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is a step forward for the party and ensures that it will be strengthened from within.
He said it was important for the party to consolidate itself to move forward in attaining the support of the people in the upcoming 14th General Election, which is expected to be more challenging that the 13th election seven months ago.