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.

For reading, with score of 398, Malaysia is four-and-a-half years behind Shanghai (570), more than three years behind 13 other countries/regions – Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Finland, Canada, Taiwan, Ireland, Poland, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Australia and New Zealand.

The reason for Muhyiddin’s prolonged and conspicuous silence on 2012 PISA is simple and straightforward – he has no concrete plans to catapult Malaysia into the top third of 2021 PISA as Malaysia would have to become a “wonder country” to achieve what no nation could do in four triennial PISA tests.

The 2012 PISA shows that among countries which participated in every PISA assessment since 2003, seven countries record an average improvement in mathematics performance of more than 2.5 points per year since 2003.

They are Brazil which improved 35 points from 356 to 391 in the four triennial PISA tests of 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012; Italy which improved 19 points from 466 to 485; Mexico which improved 28 points from 385 to 413; Poland which improved 18 points from 490 to 518; Portugal which improved 21 points from 466 to 487; Tunisia which improved 29 points from 359 to 388; and Turkey which improved 25 points from 423 to 448.

Malaysia is presently stuck in the bottom third of the PISA system, i.e. below 450 points for mathematics. If Malaysia is to catapult to the top third of the PISA system, Malaysia must score at least 532 points, which means an improvement of 111 points in the four triennial PISA assessments of 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2021 – which no country had ever achieved as the best improvement in maths through four triennial PISA tests from 2003 to 2012 is Brazil which improved by 35 points.

The same position basically applies to the PISA science and reading tests,

As I asked yesterday, are these targets realistic, possible and achievable, or have Malaysians spent RM20 million to engage foreign consultants to write the Malaysian Education Blueprint to sell a “pie in the sky” about educational transformations in the next 13 years?

Under the Malaysia Education Blueprint (MEB), Malaysian 15 year-olds are expected to achieve the international average in the 2015 PISA and 2018 PISA and to reach the top third of the system in PISA 2021.

The OECD average for maths is 494 points, science 501 and reading 496. As Malaysia’s 2012 PISA score is 421 for maths, 420 for science and 398 for reading, is Muhyiddin seriously suggesting that Malaysia can attain these OECD averages for the three subjects in the 2015 or 2018 PISA tests?

Muhyiddin should not think that Malaysians are so gullible that they can be so easily taken for a ride in a RM20 million foreign consultancy job to write the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

Print Friendly

Artikel ini juga boleh didapati dalam Bahasa Malaysia di: http://goo.gl/e4LynV

  1. #1 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 9:34 am

    Dear uncle lim,

    Malaysia is a nation of unlimited stupidity.
    Ooops. Endless Possibilities.

  2. #2 by Kuala Bear on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 10:19 am

    To move forward, we need meritocracy and less political interference. People will become smarter. Race will not matter. This is not in UMNO’s interest. So go figure why it will not happen.

  3. #3 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 10:42 am

    /// peers in the top-performing PISA countries/regions particularly in Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. ///

    Note that the top performers are all wielding chopsticks. For Malaysia to catch up, a few things can be done:
    1) Stop treating the chopstick wielders as immigrants.
    2) Treat education as a passport to the world, and not as a means to enable weak students to get dubious “A”s – dumb down to the lowest common denominator.
    3) Send only the chopstick students for the PISA tests.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 11:30 am

    How accurate is the Pisa test?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25299445

    • #5 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 3:47 pm

      yhsiew :
      How accurate is the Pisa test?
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25299445

      As accurate as most tests can be. The same can be said of IQ tests, admission exams like SAT, or even TI or corruption perception. Or university ranking.

      It may not be 100% correct or fool proof. But it does give pretty good relative performance. Or, should we behave like BN and say these are only perceptions and do not reflect reality. Or a conspiracy by the West to denigrate the East.

  5. #6 by cskok8 on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 12:24 pm

    I think he will have a plan to increase the number of students who score all As in the SPM.

  6. #7 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 2:09 pm

    OK. Our kids are learning the supreme grand superior syllabus of the universe.

    The ordinary kids on earth say one plus one, our kids say satu campur satu which is way way way waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more advanced.

  7. #8 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 2:15 pm

    I mean look. Just get me the best mathematician in the world and I want to see him solve this problem.

    Dua kali dua jadi ……..

  8. #9 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 3:17 pm

    I have tested students in various schools on their math and science skills and I have to say that while there is an obvious difference between Singapore and Malaysian students on average, its not that obvious that the average is 4 years behind.

    However, my sample is based on urban schools with many vernacular schools. Even if take our the superior performance of vernacular schools, the gap does not look that big.

    The real question to be asked is if you look at rural schools especially the students from Sabah & Sarawak, what would be the score then? The fear is that those students especially in Sabah & Sarawak skew the results which means that they could be 6, 8 or even more years behind their counterpart in Singapore – THAT would be social injustice – far more than any issue of race and religion in this country..

  9. #10 by omeqiu on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 3:49 pm

    Bigjoe, you make a lot of sense!

  10. #11 by Layla Sujang on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 3:57 pm

    By accepting the fact that education quality is lagging behind other countries, it is already a good first step towards working on the challenges ahead of us.
    We need that now instead of continuing to be jumbled up with systems after systems, yet ignoring the effective ways of implementing those systems.

  11. #12 by waterfrontcoolie on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 4:54 pm

    Every test will have certain uncertainty but basing on the Maths test of PISA, the result can be reflected by the quality of China universities in the IBM sponsored annual inter-varsity competition where last year 21 Chinese Universities made it to the final round; though surprisingly Russian schools did not take part in the PISA Test as their universities have been competing with the Chinese Universities for the championship since 2000, more or less; as no western university has been able to dethrone the Russian and Chinese. If this can be seen as positive then the PISA test has got some indicators!

  12. #13 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 7:03 pm

    Ha, ha, wonderful, yelled a jubilant mooooooooo n his UmnoB kaki n cronies
    Dis 2012 PISA thingy just gave them another perfect reason 2 spend another RM20 million or MORE 2 engage MORE foreign consultants (meaning: another opportunity 2 funnel MORE RM in2 U-know-Who’s pockets lah)
    Happy hours here again, Ya-hooooooooooooooooooooo, moooooooooooooooooooo

  13. #14 by boh-liao on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 - 8:39 am

    Pls don’t say they r CLUEless
    Actually they r fully aware of opportunities 2 turn so-called crises or bad thingys in2 $$$$ making ventures (always on d look out 4 opportunities 2 even squeeze blood out of stone, boleh mah)

You must be logged in to post a comment.