July 3, 2018, by Susan Lim

Wish list for the new Minister of Education

Following Malaysia’s 14th General Election, various ministers were announced, which included a newly appointed Minister of Education. We spoke to some staff and students at the University of Nottingham Malaysia to share their hopes and vision for the newly appointed Malaysian Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

Head of School of Education Professor Ganakumaran Subramaniam

“We need an education system that is visionary and forward-looking, building in learners progressively critical skills and competencies that enable them to acquire and manage subject matter knowledge critically and creatively in order to solve problems and understand changing situations. To achieve this, the educational philosophy and curriculum need to be reviewed and reoriented to integrate knowledge, skills and competencies through carefully selected core thematic areas that are delivered through innovative learning pedagogies and assessed holistically and creatively.

There is a need to have various degrees of decentralisation on matters related to timetabling, material and curriculum content with autonomies and flexibilities. School and institutional leadership to decide on allocation for key curriculum areas based on institutional needs.  Curriculum content needs to be streamlined to reduce bloating. Assessment methods should be a combination of performance and academic measures. Teacher education curriculum needs to be overhauled in line with national education policies and practices.”

PhD in Biosciences Third Year Student Melissa Kam Yit Yee

We need an education system that allows students to think creatively and critically and not be treated like sponges, where they are expected to memorise information and regurgitate it onto a piece of paper within two hours during in an examination. Rather, we need an improved system to assess students on their understanding of a certain subject.

Lastly, I hope that the new education system will use English in the teaching of Mathematics and Science.

MA in Educational Leadership and Management student Josephine Dionisappu

My hope is that all Malaysians have equal access and opportunity for a good education as it is an important factor in ensuring that people could reach their full potential. For this to materialise, each Malaysians should have a head start in education in their formative years, as an entry to higher education and beyond. Also, I wish that the education system is able to nurture talents in non-academic areas such as in the arts sphere and finally we need to ensure that we are offering a world-class education.

Third-year biotechnology student Saran Anandan

Dr Maszlee Malik’s appointment gives me hope in seeing educational reforms in the country. He champions equal opportunities amongst all Malaysians and has pledged to move away from an education system that focuses on examinations. I have faith that he will be able to bring about positive changes in our education system, which is in a dire need of improvement.

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