Pakatan: Education blueprint lacks substance, neglects real concerns

  • Karpal was a giant, among the top lawyers in the world, says legal fraternity
    Karpal was a giant, among the top lawyers in the world, says legal fraternity

    The late Karpal Singh was described as a "giant" in the legal fraternity by the Malaysian Bar which represents 13,000 lawyers. Bar president Christopher Leong said Karpal, who had been in practice for more than 40 years, was a towering Malaysian and a courageous man. Leong remembered Karpal recently telling him that even if he was gone,... …

  • My last meeting with Mr Karpal Singh
    My last meeting with Mr Karpal Singh

    I met Mr Karpal Singh at his office in Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, about 7pm last night and spent about 45 minutes with him. He had called me earlier to collect a copy of a court judgment of an important case. He told me to come as early as possible because he had to go to Penang later that night, as he was defending a client in a murder trial... …

  • Selangor assembly in minute’s silence for Karpal SIngh
    Selangor assembly in minute’s silence for Karpal SIngh

    SHAH ALAM, April 17 — Selangor lawmakers paid their respects today to DAP veteran lawmaker Karpal Singh by observing a minute of silence to mark his death from a fatal crash this morning. At the... …

  • Tributes and expressions of shock pour in for Tiger of Jelutong
    Tributes and expressions of shock pour in for Tiger of Jelutong

    As Malaysia woke to the tragic news of the passing of opposition icon Karpal Singh, tributes and expressions of shock poured in through social media, with "Karpal Singh" and "Tiger of Jelutong" among the top news trending on Twitter since this morning. One Twitter user going by the handle @Babyan Haha posted: "RIP Karpal Singh. My father even... …

  • Perkasa’s Zul Noordin celebrates Karpal’s death as clearing path for hudud
    Perkasa’s Zul Noordin celebrates Karpal’s death as clearing path for hudud

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 17- As Malaysians mourn the loss of veteran lawmaker Karpal Singh, Perkasa vice-president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin instead said the DAP leader’s passing removes a major obstacle... …

  • Karpal fought for the weak and oppressed, he was a true friend, says Guan Eng
    Karpal fought for the weak and oppressed, he was a true friend, says Guan Eng

    Penang has lost one of its favourite sons today following the tragic death of Karpal Singh, a man who took up the baton and fought for the defenceless, the weak and the oppressed, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today. "It is said that there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics, but there are permanent principles," Lim told... …

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — Putrajaya’s education overhaul plan lacks substance and fails to incorporate key concerns raised by stakeholders like the need for more vernacular schools and diversity in the teaching workforce, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today.

While agreeing that some initiatives in the Education Master Plan 2013-2015 were laudable, the opposition bloc’s education taskforce said the blueprint, unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last Friday, was mostly incremental and focused only administration changes rather than the reforms needed to turn around the education system.

“Unfortunately, the final document fails to address many of the concerns previously expressed by stakeholders after the release of the preliminary blueprint.

“Furthermore, what is ‘new’ in the final blueprint is not transformational and fails to give confidence that the state of the education system in Malaysia is making a turn for the better,” PR said in a statement today.

After much criticism and consistently seeing its rankings drop, Putrajaya announced its plan to revamp the education system as part of a grand transformational programme aimed at making Malaysia a developed country by 2020.

Among the key policies outlined in the report were making English a compulsory subject to pass in SPM come 2016; implementing a new BM syllabus for national-type schools; increasing the percentage of higher order thinking skills (HOTS) questions for the UPSR, Form 3 and SPM examinations; revamping of teacher training colleges; and expanding initiatives for special needs education.

On the blueprint’s plan to recruit teachers from the top 30 per cent of each graduating cohort, PR noted that there was no mention of steps to ensure a more diverse teaching workforce.

“While the Final Blueprint outlines a strategy to devolve more decision making power to education agencies at the state and local levels, it has no provision to include the state and local governments in any decision making process,” the pact added.

“While the intention to place more emphasis and resources into vocational education has been expressed in the Final Blueprint, it makes no mention of any efforts to streamline technical, vocational and skills training among the different ministries which offer these programmes,” PR continued.

Groups like Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) have also weighed in on several key pointers in the blueprint, particularly on the plan to turn English into a must-pass subject in 2016.

PAGE chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, a teacher herself, argued that Malay students stood to lose out if the government focused on examination results instead of genuinely improving the English skills of the students.

Opposition party DAP also criticised the move to increase contact hours for classes teaching Bahasa Malaysia (BM), the national language, in vernacular schools. It argued that increments in the hours would not necessarily improve students’ BM.

The predominantly Chinese party also highlighted the plan’s purported negligence of vernacular education, a view echoed by PR’s education taskforce.

“Many of the concerns and recommendations of stakeholders were totally ignored.

“There was no mention of building new schools according to the needs and demands of parents, most notably Sekolah Agama Rakyat and Sekolah Kebangsaan Jenis Cina and Tamil,” it said.

But Muhyiddin insisted that vernacular schools would not be sidelined. He maintained that the right to vernacular education is recognised and protected in the Education Act, a policy that helps form the fundamentals of the Najib administration’s Education Development Plan 2013-2025.

“The existing education policy is based on the Education Act, which is still upheld in the education development plan. The ministry does not intend to sideline any streams that exist in this country; in fact, it will ensure that every student of government schools, government-aided schools get access and equity and quality education.

“The existence of vernacular schools is also safeguarded by the Education Act 1996 (Section 28) and I would like to state here that right to practice mother-tongue education in these schools have never been denied,” he said in his opening speech when launching the plan on Friday.

Putrajaya is expected to roll out the implementation of the final blueprint immediately but PR claimed the government had ignored calls by interest groups not to rush the programme until all concerns are properly addressed.

“The minister has turned a deaf ear to these requests and have gone on to announce a Final Blueprint which fails to excite, neglects many concerns and recommendations of stakeholders and does not inspire confidence that a substantive renewal and reform of our education system will take place,” PR said.

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily news updates.

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says The Malay Mail Online
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge... …

  • Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper The Malaysian Insider
    Wreck hunter confident MH370 crash site found, says Aussie paper

    A wreck hunter is confident that the search teams had pinpointed the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and believes that the black boxes will be located soon, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports. David Mearns, director of Blue Water Recoveries told the ABC's 7.30 programme yesterday, he was confident that, because of their... …

  • One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks AFP News
    One dead as S. Korea ferry with 476 passengers sinks

    South Korea's coastguard said Wednesday one person had been killed as it struggled to rescue 476 people -- mostly high school students -- aboard a ferry that ran aground and sank off the southern coast. "The ferry is almost completely submerged," Lee said, adding that a detachment of South Korean Navy SEALS were taking part in the rescue. Of the 450 passengers on board the ferry bound for the southern resort island of Jeju, 325 were students from a high school in Ansan, south of Seoul. The …