IN the blink of an eye, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has already marked his first anniversary as head of the ministry.
“I take this trust and responsibility seriously as it is vital to ensure quality education to produce the next generation of leaders,” he wrote in a recent blog post on http://portal.tokdet.my, a year and three days after he was appointed to the position.
Reminiscing his initial days at the ministry, Mahdzir said he was thrilled upon being briefed on the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.
“I was excited because we have a comprehensive plan to bring our system into the top third league of countries that have the best education in the world.”
He however, acknowledged that the transformation of education through the blueprint is a complex process.
Another subject that is close to his heart is the welfare of teachers.
“The blueprint itself stresses that the quality of teachers is important in ensuring the success of students.
“Thus in the first wave, the focus of the initiative is to change the system by supporting teachers and focusing on key skills.
“If they are not cared for, how will they provide the best education for their charges?”
Mahdzir said that he sees positive changes in the country’s education system.
“Primary school pupils have the confidence to interact with me and try to explain about what they have learnt.”
He said teachers also gave their students more space and opportunities to be responsible for their learning, while school administrators have been providing support to teachers “although there are various constraints in terms of infrastructure”.
Mahdzir revealed that some of the earliest initiatives he took was to unite husbands and wives posted in separate districts or states, or what is known as the duka lara (extreme suffering) issue among those in the profession.
“There were initially two transfer exercises but I increased it to three per year. In this regard, the ministry has managed to solve 4,267 of such cases since I assumed the position,” he said.
Mahdzir thanked those responsible for planning and implementing initiatives to improve the quality of education.
“I’m committed to support the implementation of the blueprint, and I’m confident, through the ministry’s collective effort, we are on track to bring change.”