(Petaling Jaya, Wednesday): The DAP Central Executive Committee will
consider drafting a 10-year Education Master Plan (2003-2013) for a world-class
education system for Malaysia to face the challenges of globalisation, liberalization and
information and communications technology.
Last October, the Education Minister, Tan Sri
Musa Mohamad had announced the
10-year Education Development Blueprint (2001-2010) and although he said that he was seeking a national
consensus among the Malaysian public and the educationists, there was
minimal public debate or discussion of the 10-year education blueprint, with no
mechanism whatsoever to get public feedback or achieve a national consensus –
and the 10-year Education Development
Blueprint was never tabled or debated in Parliament in the past eight months!
Recently, the government announced far-reaching
changes to the education system like the introduction of English for teaching of
Mathematics and Science, first for Std. One and suddenly extended to all forms
without any preparation or public consultation – and these changes were not
even envisaged in the 10-year Education Development Blueprint.
After 30 months as Education Minister, Musa is
now presiding over a full-blown national educational crisis with one educational mess after
the end of his recent European tour, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr.
expressed the hope that Malaysian can emulate Luxembourg's success as a small
but rich country. He said there was a lot Malaysia could
learn from the tiny European country which had developed from one that
produced steel to one that is an important financial centre in the
One of the lessons Malaysia must learn if we are to become like Luxembourg is that political leaders must set an example as Malaysian leaders with sights on the global horizon and not mired in their different racial compartments.
Higher education in Malaysia is one good example. Faced with the challenges of globalisation, liberalisation and information and communications technology (ICT), political leaders whether in government or opposition should be leading and guiding the nation to address the critical educational issues like raising the Malaysian enrolment in higher education (as a proportion of the number of people at the ages most relevant to higher education), ensuring world-class quality for our higher education system and the emphasis to produce a critical mass of scientific and technical manpower to power Malaysia into a hi-tech future rather than focusing on irrelevant but highly popular political issues like quotas.
In the era of globalisation and ICT,
where human capital is paramount in determining the prosperity and future
of societies and nations, Malaysia’s place in the international economy will
be decided not by the competition
between bumiputras and non-bumiputras but by Malaysia’s ability to compete
with the rest the world and this is why education and in particular higher
education must not be seen as a
zero sum game as to which race wins but a win-win game for all Malaysians
regardless of race and the nation to win together.
For this reason, the
DAP Central Executive Committee at its meeting tonight will consider
drafting a 10-year Education Master Plan (2003-2013) for a world-class education
system for Malaysia to face the
challenges of globalisation, liberalization and ICT.