Past 13 years, three Education Ministers have each produced Education Blueprint but Malaysian education standards have gone from bad to worse

When launching the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the government is not in denial over Malaysian students’ poor ratings in international assessments and vowed to move our students from the bottom one-third to the top one-third of the world.

Najib doth protest too much as his claim that the government is not in denial can easily rebutted, and I will give two instances:

Firstly, the ludicrous claim by the Deputy Prime Minister cum Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin early this year that the Malaysian education system is one of the best in the world and that Malaysian youngsters are receiving better education than children in the United States, Britain and Germany.

Secondly, the government’s refusal and denial for almost four years to admit Malaysia’s disastrous showing in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2007, the four-yearly international comparative assessment of the achievements and attitudes towards mathematics and science of Year 4 and Year 8 secondary students, and ascertain the causes to immediately arrest and reverse such decline.

At the eighth grade level of the TIMSS evaluation, Malaysia plunged from No. 10 placing in mathematics in TIMSS 2003 to No. 20 placing in TIMSS 2007, dropping a hefty 45 score points from 519 points in 1999, 508 in 2003 to 474 in 2007 (500 is the TIMSS mathematics scale average).

With the disastrous showing in mathematics at the eighth grade level, Malaysia not only lost to the five top Asian countries which took the first five places, namely Taiwan (1), South Korea (2), Singapore (3), Hong Kong (4) and Japan (5) but also to Hungary (6), England (7), Russia (8), United States (9), Lithuania (10), Czech Republic (11), Slovenia (12), Armenia (13), Australia (14), Sweden (15), Malta (16), Scotland (17), Serbia (18) and Italy (19).

Imagine Malaysia having worse ranking in student mathematics attainments when compared to countries like Hungary, Russia, Slovenia, Armenia, Malta, Serbia and Italy, and yet we have an Education Minister who could boast of the country having one of the best education systems in the world!

The incontrovertible fact is that in the past 13 years, Malaysia has three Education Ministers and each has produced an Education Blueprint but Malaysian education standards have gone from bad to worse in this period.

Tan Sri Musa Mohamad who was Education Minister from 1999 to 2004 produced the 10-year Education Development Plan 2001-2010 while Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein who was Education Minister from 2004 to 2009 set it aside and produced his own blueprint, Education Development Master Plan 2006-2010.

Will Muhyiddin’s Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 break the jinx of one Education Blueprint after another resulting in further deterioration in the educational standards in the country?

What is there to make Malaysians believe that Muhyiddin’s Education Blueprint will be more successful than Hishammuddin and Musa’s blueprints, as to catapult Malaysian students from the bottom one-third to the top one-third in international assessments?

If Najib is sincere and serious that the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 should effect a transformation of the entire education system, “lifting achievement for all students”, then he should support the establishment of a Parliamentary Select Committee on Education when Parliament reconvenes on Sept. 24, which should be given three months to submit its report on the 12-year Malaysian Education Blueprint.

One of the terms of reference of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Education should be to find out why the two previous Education Blueprints of the two former Education Ministers had the opposite results since 1999, causing Malaysian student performance in both mathematics and science to fall below the international average with a commensurate drop in ranking – and worse of all, hiding such a crisis of the Malaysian education system from the Malaysian public in the past four years!

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 - 6:18 pm

    There is no way a politically oriented Education Blueprint will succeed.

  2. #2 by Jeffrey on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 - 6:32 pm

    Everything looks good on paper only. Each Blue Print requires criteria for evaluation of programs in the blue print which means both Ministry of Education’s officials, schools’officials and teachers have more documentation to prepare in order to meet criteria set, which takes time away from the actual and core business of teaching. Besides each Blue Print generally lasts longer than tenure of the Education Minister. The new Education Minister will prefer to set & leave behind his own “foot print” than to implement to complement that which was set by his predecessor. So where’s continuity? One Education Minister in the past (you know who) advocated the teaching of Bahasa Malaysia with ‘Bahasa Baku’, which after him had fizzled out. What goals/programs if the basic issue of whether having maths and science taught in English (advocated by Dr Mahathir) cannot be settled with finality? Also the issue of human capital. Do we have people of caliber, at all levels of the Education Establishment to implement the Blue Print’s goals/programs?

  3. #3 by Dap man on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 - 7:22 pm

    What level can one attain if the teachers themselves are of very low standard. High achievers don’t become teachers. Only the ones with mediocre results do.
    What can those with CGPA of 2.0 – 2-5 achieve?

  4. #4 by monsterball on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 - 8:09 pm

    Muhyiddin is only interested to be PM soonest possible.
    He is the most unqualified Min. Of Education.
    So is Hisham as Home Minister.
    Brainless they are…but with big mouths to talk one sided politics…all well trained by Mahathir.
    These racists will not move forward in Education.
    The day more and more Muslims get smarter…they know their lying days are over.

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 - 9:38 pm

    Honestly, both Najib & Muhiyiddin is UNQUALIFIED to produce a truly breakthrough Plan.. They are not great leaders not good teachers NOT even good students, how are they suppose to be able to really know?

  6. #6 by PoliticoKat on Thursday, 13 September 2012 - 10:06 am

    Take the politics and racial agendas out of the education system! Then write good text books without attempting to reenginer Malaysian society and brain washing children with the Ketuanan Melayu ideology.

    Then Malaysia will have an education system which is good by 1960s standards.

    Once we get there, we can work on bringing the system to the 2010s standards.

    Get the basics first. No use talking when our text books are crap. Sejarah is current Islamic world and nothing more.

    Then fix the power and water to school. Then in we can talk computers.

  7. #7 by SENGLANG on Thursday, 13 September 2012 - 11:27 am

    Malaysian Ministers are famous for boosting master plan, super task force for investigation and sate of art projects. They are good at boosting with one ultimate objectives to fool the people so that they will continue supporting them.

    We have too many planners but no executioners. Most of the Minister like too talk and they have talking over years for the same issues but without any results.

    They are good at changing their minds or rather they just can’t make up what is really good. Or rather they all no Teaching in English is the only way out but due to political they just denial it.

    They also manipulate date to check themselves and siur sendiri.

    So DPM also boosts we already have the best education systems that are on par or even better than those in UK and US? when he say that his face was not red?

    So with this kind of self denial this is just another Blue Print to siur sendiri

  8. #8 by bush on Thursday, 13 September 2012 - 11:34 am

    Yes, another world class 1 Malaysia education” Blueprint” prepared by the Consultant but 3rd class mentality to implement the system.

    Is there any clauses highlighted in the blueprint on the implementation to avoid the 3rd class mentality?

    1) Is there any discrimination to select the best student who are entitled for better class/school and shorten the overall duration from 10 year to 9 years?

    2) Is there any discrimination to interview the top scorer student who wants to pursue a good medical/engineering course?

    3) How they select, train and employ the best Teachers? How they do it?

    4) Is there any discrimination on promotion for capable Teachers?

    5) How they select the best Headmaster?

    6) Is there any discrimination on entry requirement to University? (STPM vs Metriculation?)

    7) Is there any discrimination on scholarship award?

    8) What had emphasized to improve the English syllabus? (Using BM for Math and science?)

    9) What to do with the existing rotten/useless teachers?

    10) Most important – What are the punishments to those personal who is in-charge of the selection and miss-used his/her power to discriminate a good student from getting a scholarship/university place? This event had happened for the past 30 years and no one is responsible/accountable for the discrimination thus resulting “BRAIN DRAIN”.

    The above answers are needed to implement an effective education “BLUEPRINT” rather than a repeated report from the past to manipulate the Rakyat like 1Malaysia slogan.

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