By Lisa J. Ariffin
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 ― Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today cautioned against prejudice towards the government’s new education blueprint and urged all concerned to peruse the document before making up their minds.
The deputy prime minister also said there is still time for the public to give its feedback on the new education masterplan, which will run from 2013 to 2025, during the Education Ministry’s Open Day next month.
“Before making any conclusions (on the blueprint), please read (it),” Muhyiddin told reporters today after a Primary School Evaluation Test (UPSR) visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Sultan Hisamuddin Alamshah here.
“A lot of people have not read it but have already given comments that certain subjects are not stressed upon, like science and technology; that is not true,” he added.
The education master plan report is available for free from the Ministry of Education website.
“The early debate is an opportunity for us to welcome concerned parties to study the blueprint and if they think there are certain fields that are not stressed upon, then they can give their opinion,” he explained.
“They are welcomed to forward their ideas before the final blueprint is out,” he added.
Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said reactions to the masterplan so far have been “very supportive”.
“What I stress is quality. We welcome all ideas and suggestions to improve the quality of education in the country.”
Yesterday, Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim had labelled the new education blueprint as a simple “rebranding exercise” despite the inclusion of terms such as “transformation” and “review”.
She also criticised the blueprint’s advisory panel for not emphasising the importance of English, singling out the consultants from South Korea and Singapore.
Prior to that, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) think tank had criticised Putrajaya for omitting four critical reports — commissioned at a cost of millions of taxpayers’ ringgit — necessary to determine the credibility of the plan.
In the new masterplan launched yesterday, Malaysia aims to be in the top third of the Programme For International Student Assessment (PISA) test within the next 13 years. The country is currently ranked in the bottom third.
The education masterplan comprises 11 “shifts” to inculcate six attributes in children: knowledge, thinking skills, leadership, bilingual proficiency, ethics and national identity.
The shifts include empowering state and district education departments and schools to customise solutions based on need and recruiting only the top 30 per cent of graduates for teacher training.