Wednesday September 12, 2012
PM launches bold education blueprint for excellence
KUALA LUMPUR: The “frank and bold” Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 faces up to weaknesses in the education system and pushes for excellence among teachers and students.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the weaknesses in the present education system had to be acknowledged, and Malaysians could not be in denial, if the country is to move forward.
Alluding to the dismal performance of Malaysian students in the bottom one-third in international assessments, the Prime Minister said the education system had to be revamped to produce thinking and innovative students to meet future needs.
“In the new economy, the thrust is knowledge, innovation and technology. Our system must meet these needs. We must prepare our children for jobs that are yet to exist,” he said at the launch of the blueprint's preliminary report here yesterday.
For a competitive edge, Malaysians should be bilingual, if not multilingual, Najib said, adding that this was because they lived in a multicultural environment.
“After 55 years, every Malaysian must be able to speak Bahasa Malaysia ... this is not a political but national issue.
“English is a reality ... (it is) not a zero sum game but an asset if we can speak English well,” he said.
He added that English Literature could improve proficiency in the language and students should build up their reading in stages.
The Prime Minister urged everyone to pick up three languages.
“We need that competitive edge. We can leverage on our multiracial component. Why lose that advantage? We should be pragmatic,” he told a packed hall at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre with over 2,000 people in attendance, including Cabinet ministers, MPs, educationists, non-governmental organisation representatives, teachers and students.
Najib added that education was a national issue and should not be politicised because “as leaders we should be brave enough to de-politicise education for the sake of our children”.
“We must not work in silos but be an integrated team to deliver real changes,” he said.
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