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PIVOTAL: Policy changes will raise standard of teaching and boost teachers’ confidence
KUALA LUMPUR: THE National Education Policy Review Blueprint is creating much buzz and excitement among educationists, even though it is still about a month away from being announced.
National Parent-Teacher Association chairman Datuk Mohd Ali Hassan expressed his delight over the initiative and requested the insertion of “very pivotal changes” in the education system.
“This move is highly lauded as it will instil a change in the Education Ministry itself. We need to monitor the changes to ensure they materialise in 13 years.” Ali urged the government to look at ways to improve the delivery of English language as a subject.
“Although the suggestion to introduce English Literature is good, the foundation has to be changed first to enable students to absorb the subject better.” He said this was because students’ competency in the language was low and not enough for them to compete globally. He said English Literature could be made an optional subject.
He requested that teachers be sent for training to help them deliver the subject better, besides boosting their confidence.
“We need to get back to that same standard about 50 years ago when the subject was given importance by teachers.”
However, importance should also be given to Bahasa Malaysia, he said. Ali said the government should introduce better Bahasa Melayu Literature components to boost students’ interest in mastering the language.
“Tamil and Mandarin languages can be taught as optional subjects.” He said besides helping students grasp the languages better, it would also promote diversity and unity.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Institute of Ethnic Studies principal research fellow Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria said the move was timely as schools needed a higher benchmark to produce competitive graduates.
"For this, schools must also be culturally appealing and more non-Malay teachers must be hired."
Jayasooria said a multicultural environment was crucial to help students mix with students from other backgrounds.
"School is where they start knowing about the outside world and, therefore, this initiative is important."
He also expressed hope that the government would take the idea into consideration to prevent people from losing confidence in the education system.
"We can be as good as any private or international school and for that to happen, the blueprint must reflect a multicultural framework."
He said the move would produce more competent leaders.
Barisan Nasional Hulu Selangor member of parliament P. Kamalanathan said he hoped remove classes could be stopped.
"It only hinders the development of students as they do not get to mingle with students from national schools."
He said remove classes also lowered the confidence of students from Tamil and Chinese schools.
He said he hoped computer labs in schools could be improved.
"Knowledge of information and communication technology is important.
"Therefore, we must expose students to it."