Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, in Parliament on the 4th of July, 2013
The Draft of the National Education Blueprint 2013 to 2025 was launched on the 11th of September 2012. One of the high level panels established to provide feedback to the Minister of Education was the Malaysian Review Panel, which comprised of many distinguished individuals (see Appendix 1) and was chaired by former USM Vice-Chancellor and current Vice-Chancellor of the Albukhary International University, Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak.
A memo that submitted by the Malaysian Independent Review Panel (MIRP) to the Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muyhiddin Yassin, shortly after the publication of the NEB draft, was highly critical of the NEB. The criticisms of this memo include:
(1) That only 5 out of the 11 shifts are necessary and suitable to be prioritized as focus areas. The rest are merely part of the ‘refinement’ process which is already in the existing National Education Development Masterplan 2006 to 2010. (Appendix 2)
(2) That the National Education Blueprint will not be very impactful in bringing the necessary change or shifts that they were hoping for.
(3) That the National Education Blueprint is a ‘nice’ document and can serve as an internal guide for the officers in the Ministry of Education. But as a public document, it shows just incremental change that is carried out regularly by the Minister of Education, rather than the introducing much-hoped for reform and renewal.
(4) That many important opportunities have been left out including emphasizing multi-lingual competencies (rather than just bi-lingual competencies) and to increase the professionalism of teachers by establishing a Teacher’s Council.
Many strong words were used by the MIRP in this memo and it was clear that the Panel felt did not feel confident that this NEB was ground breaking in any way, shape or form but was in fact just a run-of-the-mill type of document that is easily forgotten. (See BM statement below)
In a parliamentary reply on the 27th of June, the Minister of Education, stated that the NEB will be finalized in July, 2013, which is this month.
I call upon the Minister to assure the public that he has taken into consideration the strong views expressed by this high level panel which seriously affects the credibility of the NEB as a transformative education plan. I fear that the final version of the NEB will introduce merely superficial changes to the earlier draft. This will confirm the reservations of the MIRP regarding the draft NEB that this is merely a ‘nice’ document to have as a guide for officials in the Ministry of Education and will not result in any significant transformation of our current education system.
Appendix 1: The Malaysian Review Panel for the National Education Blueprint (NEB)
- Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the Vice Chancellor of the Albukhary International University and also Chair of the Panel
- Tan Sri Anthony Francis Fernandes, Founder and CEO of Air Asia Berhad
- Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Hj Moktar, Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad
- Tan Sri’ Dato Seri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah , Founder and Chairman of Sunway Group
- Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
- Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar, Ex-Chairman of Securities Commission
- Prof. Dato Dr Ab Rahim Selamat, Tokoh Guru, Ex-Dean of Faculty of Education, University Selangor, Ex-Director of Aminuddin Baki Institute
- Prof. Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Kamal Hassan, Distinguished Professor of International Islamic University
- Dr. Haji Adi Badiozaman Tuah, Director of Education Services Bureau, Sarawak Islamic Council
- Prof. Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik, President of Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
- Prof. Dr. Rajendran A/L Nagappan, Professor of Universiti Pendididkan Sultan Idris, Co-ordinator of the Action Plan for Future of Tamil Schools
- Dr. Hj Abdul Kadir Hj. Rosline, Rector of Universiti Tekonologi Mara, Sabah
Appendix 2: 5 out of the 11 Shifts which MRP regard as focus areas
Shift 1: Provide Equal Access to Quality Education of an International Standard
Shift 2: Ensure Every Child is Proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and English Language
Shift 3: Develop Values-Driven Malaysians*
Shift 4: Transform Teaching into the Profession of Choice*
Shift 5: Ensure High Performing School Leaders in Every School*
Shift 6: Empower JPNs, PPDs and Schools to Customize Solutions Based on Need*
Shift 7: Leverage ICT to Scale up Quality Learning across Malaysia
Shift 8: Transform Ministry Delivery Capabilities and Capacity
Shift 9: Partner with Parents, Community and Private Sector at Scale*
Shift 10: Maximize Student Outcomes for Every Ringgit
Shift 11: Increase Transparency for Direct Public Accountability
* MPR Agreed that these were the ‘shifts’ that are necessary and suitable to be termed as shifts