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Can we save our national education system?

Can we save our national education system?

Can we save our national education system?

From stories of teachers having to print students’ worksheets using their own funds to meeting the Education Ministry some hundred times to iron out how to make national schools enticing again, it was a robust discussion during the Our Education System: Overview of Challenges and Solutions webinar yesterday evening. While we might not be able to cover all the points made, here are some key takeaways for you.

Help our teachers

It’s a known fact that we aren’t good when it comes to teacher development. Teachers are assessed for their competencies but it becomes another paperwork fulfilment in the end, and they find themselves stuck within the confines of a system that doesn’t allow them the space to grow. The system itself is judgemental and not developmental, and that has to change.

School recovery plan

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to the recovery plan when kids go back to school. It needs to be customised specific to the school and its community. But the main issue with that is the fact that we have a centralised national education system where everything is driven from the centre. Schools and teachers will have to play a pivotal role in understanding the learning needs of these students, and have to be skilled in pedagogy-like differentiation. We should focus on assessment for learning where we assess progress and figure out interventions that need to be implemented.

Making national schools the preferred choice

There were 5 areas proposed to the Ministry of Education by the National Education Action Council in order to make national schools the preferred choice for both students and parents.

  • Focus on the English language
  • Reduce the number of hours for Pendidikan Islam
  • Encourage more public-private partnerships
  • Recognise teachers as professionals, and have a body to oversee their remuneration and well-being
  • Focus on special needs education to enforce a zero-reject policy

In closing, each of our guests championed moving forward together and that means getting the Education Ministry to open its doors to work with civil societies, parents and communities. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, the government ought to take the private sector’s offer for support. The existing culture and mindset practiced now need to be set aside for the greater good of our children’s education.

We hope you found the webinar insightful. Remember to join us in our next episode in this series. The Reflections on the Malaysia Education Blueprint webinar will take place on 9 September 2021 at 6pm and will feature Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, President & Chairman, PEMANDU Associates and Chen Li-Kai, Trustee, Teach for Malaysia & Senior Partner, McKinsey & Co.

From all of us here at BFM, we wish you well, and remember to adhere to the COVID-19 SOPs for a safer environment for all of us.

Best wishes,

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