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Education ministry told to evaluate ‘problematic’ system
Published on: Tuesday, June 11, 2024
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Education ministry told to evaluate ‘problematic’ system
G25 has called for comprehensive reforms in the education sector to ensure equitable access to quality education for all Malaysians.
PETALING JAYA: The G25 group of prominent retired civil servants has urged the education ministry to evaluate the country’s education system and disclose its findings to the public.

In a statement, G25 said doing so would create public confidence that the government was working to address concerns about how the ministry deals with “problems in our education system”.

The group also called for comprehensive reforms in the education sector to ensure equitable access to quality education for all Malaysians.

On the need for a balanced curriculum and English proficiency, G25 said it advocated the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction but recognised the importance of English in global competitiveness.

“There’s a need to cultivate interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects from the primary level and teach maths and science subjects in English through programmes like the Dual Language Programme.

“A balanced curriculum, with emphasis on STEM subjects alongside other disciplines, is essential for preparing students for the modern world.”

It also said STEM education was “paramount” in Malaysia’s journey towards economic advancement, particularly considering the country’s burgeoning semiconductor industry and the government’s plans for technical and vocational education and training, which was allocated RM6.8 billion in the 2024 budget.

G25 said while it acknowledged the importance of the education ministry’s emphasis on religious education in the public school curriculum, it was crucial to ensure that it did not take up the majority of school time.

It said that striking a balance between religious instruction and other academic pursuits was vital for a well-rounded education that equips children with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to thrive in a multicultural, technologically advanced and interconnected world.

“Elective after-school religious studies programmes should be considered as an alternative to maintain balance between subjects within regular school hours,” it said.

G25 also said it was crucial to strengthen teacher training institutions, particularly in STEM education.

It said that continuous professional development, merit-based recruitment, and competitive salaries were essential for attracting and retaining talented teachers.

G25 also said it believes in providing equal opportunities for all children to have access to quality education, regardless of socio-economic background, ethnicity or geographic location.

Apart from marginalised groups such as students with disabilities (physical and learning), G25 said indigenous communities, those from low-income households, and refugees should also be given access to public education.

It called for partnerships between the public and private sectors, which it said would help supplement government efforts to expand educational opportunities and improve infrastructure.

“By implementing these targeted improvements, we believe it will contribute to the overall advancement of Malaysia’s education system, making our national schools more attractive to parents,” it said.

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