Transforming Malaysian education to world class

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching at National Education and Learning Summit 2019.

By Huzraifah Atikah

The government wants to introduce the element of humanity (Manusiawi) back into Malaysia’s education culture. 

It is the Education Ministry's aspiration to restore public schools as the school of choice. 

“We do not want education to be isolated from the masses, hence we believe that schools are for the society and universities are for the community,” said the Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching in her speech at National Education and Learning Summit 2019. 

Teo said Ministry would first focus on values-driven education with the hope of cultivating the spirit of love and care, happiness, and mutual respect. 

“It is the Ministry’s aspiration that these values can be developed during their schooling years, in a society as diverse as Malaysia,” she said.

"The Ministry also wants to improve the quality of education to one that is the centre of excellence, relevance, and efficiency.

“Today’s students need to be exposed with the latest in information technology, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things,” she said.

Such features will be incorporated into the current means of teaching.

“These changes require us to put more emphasis on STREAM education, which is Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics,” she added.

She said this needed to be run concurrently with a proficient grasp of the English language.

In view of this, the Ministry needs to also introduce programmes such as the Highly Immersive Programme, Professional Up-Skilling of English Language Teachers or the English Language Enhancement Programme in Secondary Schools, Program Intervensi Tambah Opsyen Bahasa Inggeris Sekolah Rendah and the English for Preschool Teachers programme. 

She added that in order to transform the Malaysian education to a world-class education, the Ministry needed to also focus on giving more autonomy and accountability.

"This is why the Ministry is improving teaching ability by undertaking several initiatives to reduce the workload of teachers." 

This refers back to the Education Minister Dr. Maszlee Malik’s statement about simplifying filing and documentation processes, implementing a data and online system management, and abolishing primary school exams from Standard 1 to 3. 

This will lead to the overall reduction of clerical work and bring it down to levels which are far more realistic.

Teo said the Ministry was forming school-level committees to look into possible interventions to iron out elements which are unrelated to teaching. 

"Unnecessary tasks will eventually be removed and it will reduce the heavy workloads faced by teachers and ultimately allow them to focus on the quality of education delivery.