Yesterday was the first day for the UPSR examination. The first paper is traditionally Bahasa Malaysia and followed by Mathematic.
On that important day for a 12 year old, the bigger story that should be the frontpage of all the mainstream and even alternative media today is the unveiling of the education reform blueprint.
This blog do not plan to go thorugh it. Suggest you'll spend your breakfast money on today's newspapers.
Or perhaps one can read Bigdog's posting here that did a fair job to summarise the educational reform blueprint.
We wish to share a few thoughts that hit us upon leaving the KLCC Convention Hall yesterday afternoon.
So that some yoko do not make the mistake of assuming this is the educational reform plan for the nation, please beware it is not. As we understand, it is the Preliminary Report from an information gathering effort made by the Ministry since October 2011.
While there was some bitching by certain quarters that claimed a certain Tan Sri spearheading the effort was unhappy to find the printed report differ from the compiled report, it remained to be confirmed and thus far, it is a commendable effort by the Education Ministry spearheaded by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
It shows a Government that do not claim to know everything but is willing to listen before pursuing an important course of action for the nation.
Compare that to the "cocky and arrogant" Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng whose vindictive to contrary views and refuse to hear the people's voices, especially Malays who he deems as all are UMNO planted actions and not as his rakyat.
The Preliminary Report is the compilation of 7,039 recommendations and 156 memorandums received by the Ministry. It involved almost 12,000 participants from all walks of life; from teachers and educationist to parents, from administrators to the public and community leaders, from activists, left or right, etc.
So this report is a magninimous effort by the Government and a manifestation of Malaysians truly concerned for the education and development of our youth. They are not just criticising and making loud noises but channeling their feedback and recommendation positively.
|Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin delivering the blueprint and findings|
Unless reconfirm otherwise, our quick check with sources said no memorandum came from the opposition, specifically DAP and more specifically Tony Pua, that made many negative disparaging remarks and ridiculed of our education system. He did speak in all it's great cliches at townhall styled gatherings but no written and clearly stated memorandum.
It shows this opposition are not serious of education despite launching Occupy Dataran Merdeka to demand free tertiary education. It is only politics for political sake and the proof is in the sorry state of educational program in the respective Pakatan Rakyat states.
Kedah can't sustain their Islamic University College, KUIN. Kelatan wants to live on handouts from the federal government but kept blaming the federal government all the time. Many thought they said they are only thinking of the afterlife.
Yayasan Selangor have been trimmed down their operations and close up schools and training colleges due to mismanagement and believe to be leaks for PKR's political fundraising.
Although Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim denied the accusation that Unisel lost money and this losses of Unisel is linked to financial scandal of Talam and the state's poor financial affair from their "free water" program.
Does Developer Association of Penang (DAP)'s government have any educational initiaves for the people than only the interest of the Chinese dominated business and corporate community and Chinese school education?
DAP and MCA too is pandering to the interest and militant interest and divisiveness of Dr Kua Kia Soong's Dong Zong. Even parents of Chinese schools are getting fed-up with Dong Zong now.
|Dato Najib giving an off the cuff speech before officially launching the Blueprint|
Since independence, education have always been the major priority of our Government. Despite being poor, some Government would rather spend money to buy arms than education it's people. Malaysia do not spend more than 6% of budget on military expenses but allocate more than 16% of it's budget for education.
Periodically the education sytem have been reviewed and recomended for up-grading. There were the Razak Report (1956), Rahman Talib Report (1960), Cabinet Committee Report (1979), amendment to the Education Act 1996, Education Development Masterplan (2006-10), and now.
In the nutshell, Malaysia have made much success in terms of enrollment, and literacy. However, Muhyiddin acknowledge in his speech of the poor state of competency in the area of reading, Science and Mathematics in schools when compared to developed countries. This need some work.
The objective of the Ecucational Development Plan for 2013-2015 is based on 5 aspirations:
The target is developed students in six attributes:
The remarkable aspect of the blueprint is in 11 major areas of paradigm shifts:
There will be set KPI for all officers and teachers in the Ministry. Education Delivery Unit will be sestablished to monitor development, address implementattions issues, manage communication with interested parties, and get feedbacks.
Unlike the usual reactions by opposition on Twitters to hit the Government immediately upon announcement of any initiatves and to the extent of resorting to lying as in the case of Tony Pua, Nurul Izzah and Dr Dzulkifli effort to ridicule the diswashing liquid in KR1M by comparing to a more expensive premium generic brand dishwashing liquid, they are dumbfounded by the sheer inclusiveness of the report.
Silent and petty are the issues they raised on Twitters. See Edureview2012 Twitter here.
Gallant effort by YB Kamalanthan to debunk every petty criticism of theirs. By the way Nurul, LGT freedom is not included in the inculcation of universal values. Perhaps when everything-liberally-acceptable-for-votes Anwar Ibrahim becomes Prime Minister and Nurul becomes Education Minister.
Before one gets influenced by the opposition and their desperate attempt to use some Mckinsey Reports to negatively potray the state of Malaysia's education to negate the effort of the Education Ministry, McKinsey is known more for their expertise in specific area of strategic management but NOT education!
This bold effort received accolades from a panel of International educational experts from South Korea, Canada, OECD office, and Singapore.
For more information, go the Ministry's website for the pdf copies of the Plan, speeches by Tan Sri Muyiddin and Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak.
|Struggle and balancing act to get to school?|
We will not do justice to not give a few comments here and there despite having our thoughts and recommendations included in two memorandums by an NGO.
Since yesterday, we have been going around kidding that the way the blueprint is written it will make all Malaysian a clever lot. Our problem is left to create jobs and economic opportunity to cater to all the clever, smart and positive thinking Malaysian youth.
The plan that was written in strategic language is so all encompassing that no Malaysian youth will not become academically clever and become dynamic individuals.
The plan is one thing but the implementation is another. Budget, human resource, especially teachers, and management capability, including problem of bureaucrasy, will be the constraint to enable all these to be done at one go.
To make a plan work, there has to be a set of priority list of actions plans. That was what we wanted to hear. Thus the keywords here is prioritising and budget limitation. That will be where everyone should be discussing and contributing.
|The quality of Chinese Taipei International School in Malaysia?|
Quality requires money and human to do it. It is not only the responsiblity of teachers and students but also the parents.
Are they willing to sacrifice and cough up money to send their children to private schools to get exceptional quality educations?
Or they want the Government to be burden by their demands? Because that can solve part of the problem through private initiatives.while the Government focus on other areas requiring attention like education for the less financially endowed .
|Access to education is still relevant problem to the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak|
While the tendency of academician is for quality and generally they believed access is not a major issue. That is also the selfish concern of urban Semenanjung parents.
We feel otherwise and remain concerned with access to education, specifically students in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak. It is the areas where DAP do not care to come except during elections and will only come to spread the divisive and aggressive evangelical Christianity, not even Christianity.
There is also the need to reduce the inequitability in education and resources between rural and urban, Semenanjung and Sabah/Sarawak, public school and private schools, and day schools and residential schools.
One close political friend used to make a remark to ask why bother over this Sabahans and Sarawakians. We can't trust them, he said. Thank God he is in the opposition now.
|Our future ...|
When Malay were fighting the communist, we owe it to the British Rangers from Sarawak. They were not even Malayan and Malaysia was not formed yet but these Iban warriors put their lives for us and returned to their kampung without a murmur of complain, totally unlike the kiasu Malaysian from a certain segment of urban population. .
They were true Malaysian patriots, thus why should we follow the real instinct of this oppositions?
When it comes to education. forget politics. Think of those beautiful young minds that can be nurtured into great human beings.
It is time we "spend" more for teachers. They are the critical factor in teh success of education.
Regard teaching as professionals and commensurate them with the right financial package. Pay them appropriately, train them too and appreciate them.
Teaching is not just a job but to all teachers, it is a life of dedication and compassion for young humans. Coming from a family of teachers, we know no teachers who are not dedicated.
It is only a matter of degree.