Anwar calls for review of preschool education system

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Anwar calls for review

KUALA LUMPUR: The preschool education system in the country must be reviewed immediately to ensure students are not left behind Anwar calls for review.

Anwar calls for review


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar calls for review Ibrahim said this was necesary due to the decline in students’ performance in the 2022 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

Following this, issues including digital infrastructure, curriculum, as well as additional facilities must be provided to ensure the performance of students is on par with neighbouring countries. Anwar calls for review.

“I would like to touch on the PISA report (based on the education sector) where we are left behind in terms of digital infrastructure, curriculum and facilities for pre-schools, among others Anwar calls for review.

“Hence, I have instructed  Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek to review the preschool system we have,” he said in his keynote address during the launch of the 2024 Global Intellectual Discourse held in Universiti Malaya today Anwar calls for review.

Also in attendance were the prime minister’s wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil Anwar calls for review.

At the same time, Anwar said that the review must be done immediately to ensure the quality of the country’s education system could be improved and education access is given to all children in the country, including those from the hardcore poor categories Anwar calls for review.

Following this, he added that pre-school education reforms must also be in tandem with higher education reforms.

“When we talk about justice, we are actually widening the gap between the rich and the poor and those living in the city and rural areas Anwar calls for review.

“Let’s say, there are 80 per cent (of the pupils) who enrolled in preschools under different categories Anwar calls for review.

“Of the total, 40 per cent are categorised as good, with the remaining mediocre and around 20 per cent are extremely poor. (This means), those considered as good do not reach 50 per cent Anwar calls for review.

“This is why I want to make sure that we (the government) can provide additional facilities this year to ensure that preschool (access) can be given to all children in the country,” he said Anwar calls for review.

NST Leader: Broken education system

HERE we are again talking about an ailing education system. While Singapore emerged a world-leader in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment’s (Pisa) ranking in mathematics, science and reading, Malaysia ranked fourth in the 10-member Asean region Anwar calls for review.

Pisa, a triennial assessment of 15-year-olds, ranks the ability of the students to apply thinking and reasoning processes to solve complex real-life problems. Should we be surprised with the dismal results? Not at all. Anecdotal evidence of this has been, well, evident, for years. Strengthening this are numbers crunched by Emir Research, a Malaysian think tank Anwar calls for review.

As high as 13 per cent of pupils in  upper primary schools are not proficient in reading and 50 per cent of 15-year-olds — the Pisa candidates — have a reading capability below their level. It is not uncommon, too, to find Form One students being unable to read Anwar calls for review.

How they got through six years of schooling without being able to read remains an unsolved national puzzle. It happened in the 1960s — though the numbers were low — and is happening now.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim thinks this and other afflictions are a result of a denial syndrome among those tasked with educating the nation. Our worry is that it is this and more.

Start with the denial syndrome. There is a disconnect between schools, education departments and the ministry. They — the people who man the ministry and education departments — know the malady, but refuse to seek a cure for it. To them, the sickness is with the students, teachers and schools.

The prevailing thinking is that the ministry and the education departments are deficiency-free. A classic case of this involved mathematics teacher Mohd Fadli Mohd Salleh, who was threatened with disciplinary action when he pointed out the flaws in the education syllabus.

He was subsequently freed of all charges, but not until a good portion of the nation rallied behind him on social media, crying “go sir, go”. “To sir, with love” was more than a movie in Malaysia of 2022. But taking students from crayons to calculus as teachers like Cikgu Fadli do is but a cog in the wheel of the Malaysian education system.

Now for the “more” — a broken education system. We have had 10 governments and they have done 10 different things. Call it the problem of democracy.

Every government will do what is politically expedient, not necessarily to produce good human beings, which is the true end of education. As the government embarks on a denial-cure journey, we suggest it begin with the end of education in mind.

Our 15-year-olds must not only be able to solve complex real-world problems of the Pisa variety, but they must also be of good character. A good education system will not only educate the mind, but also the heart. Both are lodged in human beings, who are the object of our education system. Educating one without the other is not only inadequate, but dangerous.

True, educating the mind will produce the smartest students in the classroom. But educating the mind and heart will produce students who are wise, ones who are able to tell the difference between what is right and what is wrong. If we get this right, we would have solved most of our Malaysian maladies, including the broken education system.

NST Leader: Reining in pensions

IN the frenzy over the new no-pension, contract-based civil service hiring scheme, populists might get their demand that the government first end the retirement stipend of politicians.

After the initial Public Services Department circular announcing the Feb 1 scheme for new civil service hires and affirmed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim followed up with the assurance that the scheme would extend to all “new political appointees”. Then he made a proposal that met populists’ wish list: elected representatives earning multiple pensions, regardless if they are ministers or mentris besar, should opt for only one pension as part of their “moral responsibility”.

That sounds fair. The idea that a retired minister or a menteri besar, who is also a retired member of parliament, who was once an assemblyman, lets go of pensions worth in excess of hundreds of thousands of ringgit a month was something the public had long asked for.

But Anwar reminded everyone that his proposal required a parliamentary debate. Moreover, the constitution disallows retrospective withdrawal of pensions. But the fact that the prime minister suggested a move clamoured by so many for such a long time is a strong signal to the wakil rakyat: forego all pensions, except one, perhaps the highest of the lot, before the government is compelled to mandate it Anwar calls for review.

This is nevertheless firm: the no-pension scheme will exclude the current 1.7 million government employees and 900,000 pensioners, including former political leaders. But how does it work for new elected representatives who won’t earn a pension after they retire or lose an election in the future?

From what we understand, the idea for the future is that a “first-time” prime minister, minister, menteri besar, executive councillor, member of parliament and assemblyman may not be entitled to a pension, as is the current practice. That would mean that while they carry out their responsibilities and serve their constituents, their monthly wages and allowances are complemented by EPF contributions and supplemented by perks Anwar calls for review.

It makes sense though: if the idea is to phase out pensions to ensure the health of government finances a generation from now, then this new scheme is sound.

Who knows, if this new scheme kicks in, the competition to run for political office might wane because the current breed of person eyeing these posts would be disinclined for the simple reason that the job is arduous, thankless and financially unrewarding Anwar calls for review.

This on top of a reform they loath: development allocations disbursed according to a key performance indicator, just what they do in the civil service. Since politicians stopped tripping over each other to get onto the candidates’ list, parties had to enlist younger, more energetic and idealistic members as their wakil rakyat Anwar calls for review.

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