Malaysia does not need any more robotic responses to sliding educational standards but innovative reactions like making public the minimum passing marks of public exams and allowing parents to decide whether to adopt PPMSI
Malaysia’s declining educational standards is presently a taboo subject for the Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who does not want to talk or to be asked about it, especially after two events in December which highlighted the sad reality that the Malaysia education system is facing a real crisis of confidence, unable to achieve the quality of education necessary to nurture skilled, inquisitive and innovative workers for Malaysia to break out of the middle-income trap to reach the goal of becoming a high-income nation.
These two events were the release of the 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results on December 3, the first day of the week of UMNO general meetings, and the official release of World Bank’s latest Malaysian Economic Monitor themed “High-Performing Education”.
Instead of delegating to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. Datuk Seri Wahid Omar, Muhyiddin should have personally officiated at the release of the World Bank’s “Malaysia Economic Monitor: High-Performing Education” which highlighted the importance of building a high-performance education system for Malaysia’s transformation into a high income, sustainable and inclusive economy.
In fact, the World Bank report is not about Malaysia’s “high-performing education” but how Malaysia has fallen short of producing a high-performing education system based on Malaysia’s poor performances in two international education assessments – the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) where Malaysia’s scores were significantly lower than those in 2003 and 2007 for both Math and Science, and the 2012 PISA, where the Science and Reading scores fell compared to 2010 although the Math score showed improvement. Read the rest of this entry »
Dec 11, 2013
Malaysia’s most exciting political party of the old, United Malays National Organisation (Umno) just had its general assembly. A ritual of the political blood transfusion and the annual health check and administration of medications and treatments of a body politics ageing and grumbling. Too much good food and good life. Too sedentary of a life after its early years of “winning the war of independence” through a victory presented essentially and arguably, on a silver platter.
With the advent of mega-issues such as the most hegemonic and imperialistic US-imposed proposal of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the rise of fascist and hate-mongering groups, the disillusionment about our education system, run amuck and latah behaviors displayed in our Parliament, massive growth of the underclass amongst the overpopulated nation on immigrants shipped en masse to build the country to such giddy heights, a daily rise of cases of mindless crimes, a slackening and weakening school system that is criticised for not preparing the next generation for a competitive economy requiring the cultivation of brainpower, resilience, and a sense of economic republicanism with a heart of social-democraticism, the clamour for a sense of unity reminiscent of the 70s – with all these and more, why are the speeches in this party assembly out of focus?
Here are my questions to the Umno delegates:
Why can’t your speeches be about:
•Coming up with strategies to create a better understanding between the races, since we’ve been together for centuries?
•Designing our education system to be inclusive of all Malaysians with each race treated on equal terms,
•Helping any group progress, regardless of race, religion or political affiliation, since we are all lawful citizens and we are not going back to “where we belong”,
•Stopping this nonsense called ‘1Malay’ as a greeting since 1Malaysia is already enough as a meaningless slogan and even 1Mandela would be better,
•Dismantling all systems that will perpetuate hatred amongst us and redesign our lives around celebrating our strength in diversity,
•Find ways to unify all races as one dignified race of Malaysians united against any threats from outside (if there are any real or imagined),
•Coming together as Malaysians to redesign our education system that will truly enhance children’s understanding of concepts, skills, attitude to become good learners, global and transcultural in outlook, and will grow up to see each other as a human race with a common humane destiny, rather than see more divisions and destructions,
•Collaborating with all races to see how best we can help those who are marginalized regardless of race and religion, and how best we can design an economic system that will promote cooperation, collaboration, and the enculturalisation of conscience and conscientiousness amongst us, rather that perpetually create competitions that lead to hatred and warmongering,
•Mediating the differences between Muslims of different interpretive practices, schools of thoughts, ways of leading their ‘Islamic life’ rather than create bogeymen and bogey-women for the purpose of witch-hunting and persecuting each other of the things we cannot fully understand,
•Stopping the total closing of the Malay mind by constantly instilling fear of themselves since time immemorial, since feudal times, so that the Malays can be spared of being called stupid, weak, lazy, and dependent on Umno as savior – all these a perfect model of a Master-Slave Narrative.
We need new speeches, Umno, saner ones. Read the rest of this entry »
Free Malaysia Today
The Malaysian Reserve| December 11, 2013
Autonomy in schools will allow the resident learning centres to accommodate local needs and allow ownership by teachers, administrators, parents and students.
by Azli Jamil
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia needs to decentralise its schools, provide feedback to parents on performance and find quality teachers as a crucial step in its race to become a high income nation, according to the World Bank’s Economic Monitor report on High-Performing Education released yesterday.
The report said Malaysia’s education system, which is among the most centralised in the world, makes it difficult to adapt to rapidly changing needs and circumstances.
“Autonomy allows for greater responsiveness to local needs as well as stronger ownership of performance by teachers, administrators, parents and students,” said World Bank country director for Malaysia Ulrich Zachau.
“Schools must have more freedom to hire and fire and also to manage its own budget allocations and curriculum.”
He said autonomy must come with accountability where parents must be more involved in demanding performance from the schools as the parents’ feedback loops and bottom-up pressure are important drivers of systemic improvements.
The quality of teachers is the third priority and is a cause of concern where the key is to recruit and retain the best teachers. Read the rest of this entry »
by Lok Wing Kong
The Malaysian Insider
December 11, 2013
I have predicted long ago that the Education Blueprint 2013-2025 by the Education Minister will not be able to raise the standard of the education.
My prediction is spot on when we were ranked 52nd out of 62 countries for TIMSS and is firmly entrenched at the bottom third place of the Pisa survey, worse than Vietnam.
Singapore is in second place. The young students aged 11 and 12 years from Singapore are better than our 15 years old students in reading, speaking and general knowledge, etc.
I therefore totally agree with former NST editor-in-chief Datuk A. Kadir Jassin that Muyiddin be replaced by the PM’s wife Rosmah Mansor who is more cable and efficient.
Muhyiddin does not fit to be the Education Minister and in fact not fit to be in the cabinet. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malay Mail Online
December 11, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 11 — Education standards that were deteriorating despite Putrajaya spending twice as much as neighbouring countries on schools could stand in the way of Malaysia’s plans to join the ranks of developed nations, according to a recent World Bank report.
In a report titled “Malaysia Economic Monitor: High Performing Education” that echoes criticism over the recent performance of Malaysian schools, the World Bank highlighted the critical role quality education plays in a country’s aims to gain a high-income status.
In 2011, Malaysia spent the equivalent of 3.8 per cent of its gross domestic product on education, or more than twice the average 1.8 per cent within Asean nations.
“A nation’s human capital, which is largely built by its education system, is a fundamental driver of economic growth,” it said in the report.
“The quality of cognitive skills of Malaysian students, as measured by standardized international tests, is not on par with the country’s aspirations to become a high-income economy.” Read the rest of this entry »
Muhyiddin should ask McKinsey & Co to answer the question how Malaysia is to become a “wonder nation” and make the double quantum jump from the bottom third to top third of 2021 PISA or reclaim the RM20 million spent on the consultant for the Malaysian Education Blueprint
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should ask the American consultants McKinsey & Co to answer the question how Malaysia is to become a “wonder nation” and make the double quantum jump from the bottom third to top third of 2021 PISA in four triennial PISA tests which had not been achieved by any country in the world from 2003 to 2012.
If Malaysia can achieve what no other country could do in four triennial PISA tests to make the double quantum jump from the bottom third to top third of the PISA system from 2010 to 2021, Malaysia will become the envy and even poster boy of all countries in the world as a miracle nation which could make a double quantum jump in educational transformation from a nation of mediocrity to become a nation of excellence through four triennial PISA tests.
Malaysia is presently stuck in the bottom third of the PISA system for all three subjects, i.e. 421 for maths, 420 for science and 398 for reading, when Malaysia needs to achieve scores of 450 for maths, 442 for science and 446 for reading to get into the middle third and scores of 532 for maths, 511 for science and 508 for reading to get into the top third of the PISA assessment.
This is based on 2012 PISA as from the four triennial PISA tests of 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012, the threshold for each third of the assessment rises, for instance, the top performer in maths in 2003 was Hong Kong with a score of 550 while Shanghai topped the 2012 PISA with 613. Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
When Nelson Mandela died last Thursday, some Malaysian political leaders paid him tribute and expressed their admiration for what he stood for.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, who recently bought back preventive detention, tweeted, “Mandela lives on in the spirit of every human that believes in democracy and freedom.”
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, the champion of Perkasa, Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy) and the New Economic Policy (NEP), called Mandela a great leader dedicated to the cause of social justice.
Kedah Mentri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, who in September said he would not entertain any requests for allocations from Chinese schools in Kedah, called Mandela “a true international patriot” for having suffered for the freedom movement against Apartheid.
Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, who last year raised the threat of another May 13, extolled his message of unity and called him a “role model for all of the world”.
Weighed against what these people have said, done and been perceived to believe, the tributes sounded hollow. Even hypocritical. It makes one wonder if they truly understand the meaning of Mandela’s legacy. Read the rest of this entry »
Dec 9, 2013
The 4Rs – race, royalty, religion and the rural people – have been used by Umno Baru to divide and rule Malaysia.
When Najib asked the rhetorical question, “Where would the Malays be without Umno Baru?”, it was a cry of desperation and an admission of defeat.
Umno Baru’s hold on the Malays is slipping. Najib and Umno-Baru are scared. Without the Malays, where would Umno Baru be? Domination of the Malays is not about protecting their rights. It is all about power and status.
The line that Umno Baru has used for over five decades to divide the nation, is no longer relevant. Malay graduates who return to Malaysia do so because they have to fulfil the terms of their scholarship or loan. Try asking them what they really feel about Malaysia, about Umno Baru and its leaders. Their stories will fill you with hope.
The current clampdown on dissent and the hunt for Malays who speak their minds is because the government is afraid. A thinking Malay is a threat to Umno Baru. A thinking Malay who is prepared to question the leaders and make them accountable for their actions will erode the power of Umno Baru.
Umno Baru knows that one thinking Malay will embolden other Malays and very soon, Umno Baru will become irrelevant. Read the rest of this entry »
By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
December 10, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Umno’s increasing focus on Islam will likely spark inter and intra-religious tensions here, and even affect the country’s development, analysts have said as they warned of the dangers of placing one religion, or denomination, above another.
The political observers noted that in recent months, Umno appears to have entered a competition to “out-Islamise” Islamist PAS, the one opposition party seen as its biggest competitor for the Malay-Muslim vote, the country’s key voting demographic.
Wan Saiful Wan Jan, chief executive of libertarian think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), even said Umno’s 67th general assembly last week seemed very much like a gathering by PAS two decades ago.
“I must say it’s really disappointing to see the Umno assembly becoming like what PAS was 20 years ago,” Wan Saiful told The Malay Mail Online yesterday.
“PAS has moved on. Umno has suddenly become Muslim again… it’s really sad to see the prime minister outside the assembly talking about progressive, liberal views.
“But, in his own party, at the annual gathering, it’s like attending a PAS gathering 20 years ago,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »
Muhyiddin can have no plans to catapult Malaysia into the top third in 2021 PISA as Malaysia would have to become a “wonder country” to achieve what no nation could do in four triennial PISA tests
In the past two days, I have asked the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to stop “building castles in the air” or he should outline concrete plans to prove that the Malaysian Education Blueprint for Malaysia’s 15-year-olds to be in the top third of 2021 PISA is no “pie in the sky”.
I now understand why Muhyiddin has been conspicuously silent about the 2012 PISA results in the triennial global test of 510,000 15-year-old students in 65 countries in reading, science and maths, with Malaysia’s 15-year-olds not only falling below the international average in the three critical subjects but ranging from three to five years behind their peers in the top-performing PISA countries/regions particularly in Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
For instance, for mathematics with score of 421, Malaysia’s 15-year-olds is five years behind their peers in Shanghai (613), four years behind Singapore, and more than three years behind seven countries/regions – Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Macao, Japan, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
For science, with score of 420, Malaysia is 4.2 years behind Shanghai (580), and more than three years behind six countries/regions – Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Finland and Estonia.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tidak mungkin Muhyiddin mampu mengadakan rancangan untuk melonjakkan Malaysia ke dalam kelompok sepertiga teratas dalam PISA 2021 kerana untuk mencatat pencapaian sedemikian dalam tempoh empat ujian tiga tahunan PISA, Malaysia perlu menjadi “negara ajaib”
Sejak dua hari yang lalu, saya meminta Timbalan Perdana Menteri merangkap Menteri Pendidikan Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin untuk berhenti membina “mahligai kayangan” dan menggariskan rancangan padu untuk membuktikan bahawa sasaran Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia untuk meletakkan pelajar berusia 15 tahun di Malaysia dalam kalangan sepertiga teratas dalam PISA 2021 bukan angan-angan kosong.
Kini saya faham mengapa Muhyiddin membisu tentang keputusan PISA 2012, ujian tiga tahunan global melibatkan 510,000 pelajar berusia 15 tahun dari 65 buah negara untuk subjek sains, matematik, dan bacaan, yang mendapati pencapaian pelajar berusia 15 tahun di Malaysia dalam ketiga-tiga subjek itu bukan saja di bawah tahap purata antarabangsa, malah mereka ketinggalan empat atau lima tahun di belakang rakan-rakan mereka yang seusia dari negara-negara berprestasi tinggi seperti Shanghai, Singapura, Korea Selatan, Hong Kong dan Taiwan.
Sebagai contoh, untuk subjek matematik, skor 421 yang dicapai oleh pelajar berusia 15 tahun Malaysia adalah lima tahun ketinggalan di belakang rakan-rakan sebaya mereka dari Shanghai (613), empat tahun di belakang Singapura , dan lebih tiga tahun di belakang tujuh buah negara/wilayah lain –Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea Selatan, Macao, Jepun, Liechtenstein dan Switzerland.
Read the rest of this entry »
Muhyiddin should outline concrete plans to prove that the Malaysia Education Blueprint for Malaysia’s 15-year-olds to be in top third of countries in 2021 PISA is no “pie in the sky”
Malaysia has two Education Ministers but this has not stopped the country from continuing to slide down international educational standards, transforming our previous status in the early Merdeka years as a nation of excellence for primary, secondary and university education into a nation of mediocrity.
This was painfully highlighted by two events last week, the release of the 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) last Tuesday and the inaugural Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2014 last Wednesday.
The 2012 PISA, a global test of 510,000 15-year-old students in 65 countries in reading, science and maths, found Malaysia’s 15-year-olds not only below the international average in the three critical subjects but four or even five years behind their peers in the top-performing PISA countries/regions in Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The inaugural Times Higher Education BRICS and Emerging Economies Rankings 2014 has finally confirmed Malaysia’s removal from the pedestal of the world’s top ranking universities – as not a single Malaysian university succeeded for the third year running to be ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for top 400 universities for 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. Read the rest of this entry »
Muhyiddin perlu membentuk rancangan padu untuk membuktikan Pelan Pembangunan Pendidikan Malaysia untuk meletakkan pelajar berusia 15 tahun Malaysia dalam kelompok sepertiga teratas dalam PISA 2021 bukan janji kosong
Malaysia mempunyai dua Menteri Pendidikan, namun hal ini tidak menghalang mutu pendidikan dalam negara daripada terus merosot di bawah piawaian antarabangsa, mengubah status kita yang dikenali di tahun-tahun awal Merdeka dulu sebagai sebuah negara cemerlang mutu pendidikan rendah, menengah, dan universitinya, menjadi sebuah negara yang pencapaiannya serba biasa sahaja.
Kita diperingatkan tentang hakikat ini menerusi dua peristiwa pada minggu lalu, iaitu pengumuman PISA 2012 (Programme for International Student Assessment) Selasa lalu dan Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2014 pada hari Rabu lalu.
PISA 2012, ujian global melibatkan 510,000 pelajar berusia 15 tahun dari 65 buah negara untuk subjek sains, matematik, dan bacaan, mendapati pencapaian pelajar berusia 15 tahun di Malaysia dalam ketiga-tiga subjek itu bukan saja di bawah tahap purata antarabangsa, malah mereka ketinggalan empat atau lima tahun di belakang rakan-rakan mereka yang seusia dari negara-negara berprestasi tinggi seperti Shanghai, Singapura, Korea Selatan, Hong Kong dan Taiwan.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
Umno President Najib Razak diminished the stature of a great man when he said last Saturday at his party’s general assembly that Umno fought for the “same cause” as Nelson Mandela, who had died two days before.
What same cause? Mandela fought against racial discrimination whereas Umno institutionalised racial discrimination a few decades ago and still upholds it.
Mandela never advocated black supremacy, whereas Umno promotes Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).
After he became president of South Africa, Mandela proposed reconciliation and sought to bring the races in his country together, whereas in Malaysia, Umno divides the races in order to keep itself in power.
Even at its general assembly, Umno’s delegates lobbied for the ethnocentric ‘1Melayu’ to replace the more inclusive ‘1Malaysia’, bashed the Chinese for not supporting the party at the last general election, and demanded a bigger stake in the economy, totally ignoring the reality that most of the country’s economic development is now already in Malay hands. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid
7 December 2013
The transmission of Islam in the Malay-Indonesian world remains entrenched in history as one of the foremost examples of peaceful proselytisation of religion on a trans-continental scale. So successful was the continuous process from around the thirteenth to the sixteenth century, that the Islamic faith (agama) became comfortably embedded as a definitive criterion, apart from the Malay language (bahasa Melayu) and rulership (kerajaan), of Malayness – in reference to the broad category of Southeast Asia’s indigenous population who were previously adherents of animism and variants of Hindu-Buddhist religious traditions prevalent in the archipelago. The sources, modalities, timing and other details of the genesis of Islam among the Malays had always been diverse – there were sufis or Muslim mystics and shias; Arabs, Chinese, Indians and Bengalis; sayyids, sheikhs and itinerant missionaries; merchants, traders and political escapees from the flux engulfing their lands of origin or transit.
With its kaleidoscopic provenance as the backdrop, Islam as understood and practised by Malay-Muslims prior to the era of the nation state never bore monolithic traits. On the contrary, accommodation of mores from a variety of civilisational traditions prevailed, as strongly reflected in the assortment of religious practices deriving from various ethno-cultural traditions that eventually assumed the label of being part of Malay-Muslim heritage. Hence we find for instance, in Penang, the boria musical tradition which traces its ancestry to Shiah festivities. Religio-cultural marhaban and berzanji troupes who commonly perform during Malay wedding receptions, in turn, owe their origins to rhythmic salutations of the Prophet Muhammad popularised by sufi congregations. Islam in Malaya, up till independence on 31 August 1957, had remained steadfast to the spirit of wide interpretation, as personified by its perennial willingness to accommodate the intricacies of local customs known as adat, and to tolerate the arrival of new cultural strands such as the Kaum Muda and even the West. The celebrated public debate in Kelantan on whether a dog’s saliva could be considered impure or not in 1937 was indicative of the spirit of tolerance of diversity of views that prevailed in pre-independent Malaya. The differences of views between the traditional and reformist ulama notwithstanding, the terrain of Islam in Malaya was invariably pluralist from the pre-colonial through the colonial epochs. Read the rest of this entry »
Muhyiddin should stop “building castles in the air” about Malaysia among the top one-third of TIMSS and PISA systems by 2021 when he seems to be comfortable or resigned to the country being a nation of mediocrity instead of being a nation of excellence
The Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be remembered for what he failed to say instead of what he said in the past week.
On the morning of his joint opening of the annual general meetings of UMNO Youth, Wanita and Puteri on Tuesday night, the 2012 PISA results on the global assessment of 510,000 15-year-old students in 65 countries and regions on the three critical subjects of mathematics, reading and science were released, but he did not have anything to say on it although it fell directly under his portfolio.
Although Muhyiddin as Education Minister would have earlier notice of the 2012 PISA results, he continued to keep dumb on the 2012 PISA results, even omitting reference to it in his winding-up speech at the three-day UMNO General Assembly yesterday.
Elsewhere in the world, the 2012 PISA results have created waves. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeswan Kaur| December 8, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
Refusing to deal with the truth and reality has left Umno in a vulnerable position.
When it comes to self-aggrandization, no one does it better than the nation’s largest political party, Umno. The party whose reputation precedes it continues to be ‘recycled’ by its leaders under the myth of ‘evolution’.
Umno after it was ‘reinvented’ by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is full of vengeance, of hatred towards those who refuse to be cowered in the face of injustices.
Racist, seditious, ethnically intolerant, disrespectful of fundamental rights and selfish – this best defines Umno Baru, the party which continues to be in denial over its marred credibility and warped reason d’etre.
The fact is that Umno has long lost its bearing and left many of its supporters disenchanted. Still, the hands that dictate Umno’s fate continue to be out of sync with the truth, acting instead in their own best interests.
This is perhaps the reason why the 64th edition of the Umno general assembly that kicked off on Dec 5 has turned into a ‘circus’ of sorts, with members trying to outsmart one another by resorting to ‘talking shop’.
While the keris wielding has stopped making its presence felt in the Umno assembly, Malay supremacy and racially-charged speeches continue to be harangued at the party’s gatherings. Read the rest of this entry »