Call for holistic approach to improve education system
Posted on : 03 Jun 2018  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

Call for holistic approach to improve education system

June 3, 2018, Sunday Peter Boon, reporters@theborneopost.com

Dr Annuar Rapaee

SIBU: Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee has suggested that a holistic approach be taken to improve the country’s education system.

In this regard, he called on the new Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik to consider the infrastructure needs, giving emphasis on producing useful citizens and sustaining the education policy besides continuous professional development of teachers.

Dr Annuar, who is also Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health, believed that outright copying of what has been implemented in other countries may not work for Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak, which is sparsely populated.

His remark was in response to Maszlee’s recent statement in his Facebook page that his team has set up a form online for the public to send in their feedback on ways to improve the education system of the country.

On this, Dr Annuar added: “Actually, this is a good move to get the feedback from members of the public as they are affected most when there are changes to an education policy.

“Of course, parents want to have a say on how the education policy is going to be set by the new government too.

“I urge Maszlee to go back to the basics of education in Malaysia and in particular, Sarawak – where it is still the infrastructure (needs).

“There is no way that we can give good education to children if the necessary infrastructure is not there. Everybody must have equal access to quality education – this is the basic need for the nation,” he told thesundaypost yesterday.

The Nangka assemblyman also stressed that there is a need to produce citizens who are civic-minded, tolerant and courteous, especially in a multi-racial country like Malaysia.

“Therefore, it is important from Year 1 to emphasise inculcating these noble values. For example, children should be taught how they can help to clean up the school.

“It should not be only about getting good academic grades which may be counter-productive as children will grow up to become self-centered,” he added.

He also stressed that the education policy should not be changed everytime we have a new person helming the Education Ministry as frequent changes in the education policy affects the younger generation.

Citing the use of English as an example, he felt that it is high time it is used as the medium of instruction in schools.

“The time has come to decide on the use of English as the medium of instruction for all subjects in schools. Once a decision has been made whoever becomes the next Education Minister should not change it. This has to be part of our education policy.”

As for teachers, they need to undergo continuous professional development to improve their skills and keep abreast of the latest teaching methods, he said.

He added this is one area which should be emphasised among the teaching fraternity in the country.

Dr Annuar also suggested a minimum entry requirement for teachers.

“Just like in other countries, there should be a minimum requirement for prospective candidates keen to be trained as teachers and this must be closely monitored by a body,” he said.

Towards this end, he felt whatever system ‘borrowed’ or ‘imported’ from other countries need to be fine-tuned to suit the local culture and needs of the nation.

“In Finland for instance, all their teachers are Master’s degree holders and the community are very well educated. So, the acceptance of the people and standard of education towards any change in education is already there, whereas ours – it is sparsely populated and not easy to carry out some of the changes that have to be made.

“Not all policies by the previous government are not good but perhaps, due to poor implementation mechanism or they being too meticulous – they were unable to cover the whole country like online keying of reports as certain areas especially those in the far-flung corners of state have no Internet connectivity.

“Hence, the new Education Minister needs to ensure the (improved education) system benefits Sarawak especially the rural folk, who still need to catch up in the education field,” he said.

Credit to : The Borneo Post

http://www.theborneopost.com/2018/06/03/call-for-holistic-approach-to-improve-education-system/