KUCHING: Malaysia should have the confidence to fix its own education system that suits the culture and requirements of the country’s workforces despite the shortcomings it face.
“We should not blindly refer to the education system of other countries while losing sights of our own strengths,” says director-general of the Ministry of Education Datuk Dr Amin Senin when opening the 25th National Education Convention here yesterday.
While the country’s education system might not be perfect, and it had its own challenges, Amin said it did not mean the country’s education system was a failure.
“Yes, it is not perfect but it is not a failure,” he said of Malaysia’s education system, which should be tailored to meet the requirements and needs of the country. Changes introduced into the system take time to bear fruit.
“Although we should be open-minded and study the successful (education) system of advanced countries, we must have the confidence in shaping our own (education) system to suit local requirements.
“The demand to improve the country’s education system grows louder with the changes in the country’s economy and technology advancement but changes should also take into account our culture.”
He, however, agreed that the teaching standard and competencies of the teachers have to reflect the changes in time, with the advancement in technology and social media.
“There is always a debate on which generation of teachers and headmasters are better. I believe both generations can support and complement each other with their own experiences and strengths.”
When the school average grade (GPS) was abolished in primary schools in 2018, Amin said the ministry was trying to shift its direction from examination-oriented system to a growth-oriented one.
Primary school pupils should be nurtured to be able to think critically and equip themselves with the right attitudes and skills, he added.
Amin also said that teachers shoulder the heaviest responsibility as they played a critical role in shaping the education system for the better compared to the parents or members of the public.
Teachers also have the moral duty to ensure that every student is able to achieve the minimum standard in their academic reports and not only focusing on students who are academic-inclined.
Amin said the right mechanism was already in place for the implementation of the necessary changes in the country’s education system but the players themselves have to connect the dots to move forward effectively.
Meanwhile, more than 800 headmasters from schools throughout the country are taking part in the convention, which runs from April 8 to 12.