Zero to 12: Driving the transformation of Malaysian education
Change: We talk to PEMANDU, the Performance Management & Delivery Unit, at the Prime Minister’s Department about the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), and the long-term measures under these programmes that will work towards transforming the education system in the country.
The Education National Key Economic Area (NKEA) under the ETP focuses on the country’s education systems. Several Entry Point Projects (EPPs) have kick-started its progress.
Ramp-up Early Child Care Education: The main objective of the Early Child Care Education (ECCE) initiative is to increase preschool enrolment up to 87 per cent this year. , This will gradually increase to 92 per cent in 2015 and 97 per cent by 2020. In addition, the ECCE as an EPP seeks to increase the percentage of enrolment in childcare from 4 per cent to 25 per cent by 2020.
This is important as it is a means of acquiring accurate data on the nation’s access to preschool. PEMANDU created an online portal to track this kind of data last year, a step up from the previous manually collaborated information.
One of the biggest challenges faced by PEMANDU for this particular EPP was reviewing the baseline for both the number of preschools and student enrolment. To facilitate this, a nationwide road show was held in a bid for preschools to register on the online portal. A temporary hotline was also established to aid the registration process.
This programme resulted in recording 5,997 private preschools with the Ministry of Education and 770 childcare centres with the Welfare Department. By the end of last year, 32,202 students were registered in preschools and 16,852 children in childcare centres.
ECCE Training Centres: Keeping with the 10th Malaysia Plan of equipping government preschool teachers with a minimum degree qualification, this EPP will stress on developing ECCE training centres to improve the quality of teachers.
At present, 93 per cent of teachers do not possess a certification in ECCE. As 30,000 new teachers will be required by 2020, this initiative intends to produce 218,500 qualified early childhood educators to meet the demand.
To realise this vision, a memorandum of understanding was signed in June last year by nine institutes who will solidify the consortium of ECCE training providers. Additionally, an awareness campaign was launched last year and carried out hand-in-hand with the Ramp-up Early Child Care Education initiative, highlighting the need for early childhood educators to upgrade themselves, to at least diploma level.
Last year also saw a total of 4,991 teachers trained by private ECCE training centres out of the 6,421 private school teachers that were trained.
Scaling up international schools: Many multinational corporations are setting up their companies in the Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley area. In response, the demand for international schools in the country will increase. Today, the number of international schools has grown tremendously with the significant increase of expatriate families in the country.
Under this initiative, the number of students in international schools is expected to increase to 75,000 and the number of international schools to 87 by 2020. The government is working very closely with the private sector to provide more affordable options for Malaysians as well. With more international schools making their way to Malaysia, the rakyat can enjoy world class education in their own county.