By Clara Chooi
KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — DAP MP Tony Pua has rubbished Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s boast over local education standards, citing today a recent international study that showed Malaysian students lagging far behind western nations in terms of literacy, mathematics and scientific understanding.
Labelling the deputy prime minister a “jaguh kampung” (village hero) for his boast, Pua pointed out that according to the Programme for International Students Assessment (PISA) 2009+ report released last December, Malaysian students ranked 55th out of 74 countries in terms of reading literacy, 57th in Mathematics and “only marginally better” in 52nd position for Science literacy.
“The results are extremely discouraging on the state of affairs in Malaysia’s education system,” Pua told a press conference in Parliament today.
Education Minister Muhyiddin, he said, had made “a complete fool” of himself for proudly proclaiming Malaysia’s standard of education as far better than that of the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.
Muhyiddin had made the claim yesterday, citing a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that stated Malaysian students were getting a better education than their counterparts in UK, US and Germany.
The deputy prime minister had pointed out that the WEF’s 2011/12 Global Competitiveness Report ranked Malaysia 14th among 142 countries in terms of quality of education.
He was quoting findings in the Executive Opinion Survey portion of the report, which polled top business figures on the competitiveness of various sectors and institutions.
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