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National education system to be evaluated (Updated)

Updated 4.48pm, 5 May 2009

PUTRAJAYA, 5 May 2009: The Education Ministry will conduct a study to evaluate the national education system and at the same time identify the deficiencies so that quality can be enhanced.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the comprehensive study would involve views of experts including from overseas to propel the national education system toward greater excellence.

He said there were still people with the opinion that the Education Ministry had plenty of room for improvement, hence the study would hopefully be able to realise the objective.

“From the past till now, what has been emphasised is the aspect of quality; quality in the national education system whether in terms of teaching, the students or learning. We want to see how far we have succeeded and the additional initiatives we can take to enhance further quality at the ministry.

“The keyword is quality. The ministry gives solid focus to this aspect because we cannot compromise with the future of children who need quality education,” he said.

Muhyiddin said this after speaking for the first time as the Education Minister at the ministry’s monthly assembly at Putrajaya International Convention Centre here today.

Asked whether the ministry would introduce a new syllabus suitable with the 1Malaysia concept, he said the present syllabus was still relevant to be adopted.

“We want to give a new understanding, on the importance of education as a platform to unite the people through relationships between the multiracial students in school.

“That is the best opportunity to enhance the level of people’s integration in education because besides the aspect of learning, we have to take the opportunity to mix the ingredients to enhance interracial ties through uniform bodies, sports or recreation,” he said.

Asked on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s suggestion regarding the emphasis on creativity and innovation, Muhyiddin said his side would identify measures that needed to be implemented to instil the elements.

He said the measures were not limited to educators, but also covered students including from the aspect of examination and intelligence test to see the creativity of both parties in preparing and answering the questions.

“We want to see who can come up with new ideas, think outside the ordinary. We want to produce a thinking society, who can contribute ideas. We cannot become too static, but need to be dynamic,” he said.

On the suggestion by his deputy, Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong, for the contents of History textbooks to be reviewed, Muhyiddin said history which was something that happened in the past, could not be altered or added.

He said, such a study could only be done based on facts and the truth.

“What has happened and considered as history should be recognised and written accurately. I didn’t have the opportunity to look at History textbooks but surely there were clear reasons why it was written in such a way.

“It can be improved from time to time but you cannot add something that wasn’t there. Maybe what Wee meant was you need to evaluate whether it qualifies to be considered as history or not,” he said.

Wee had previously suggested for the contents of History textbooks be reviewed on the grounds that it did not touch on the struggle and contributions of other races toward national development.

Muhyiddin said, the government had never pushed aside the contributions of other races toward history or development before, during or after independence but what needed to be highlighted in history was that the struggle for independence was started by the Malays before it was joined by leaders from other races.

“What important is giving accurate picture, not adding or removing any facts already there. They can make suggestions. I am always open for any form of suggestions and we will see the reasons. If there is a need for a review, it must be based on accurate facts or the truth,” he said. — Bernama

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