STUDENTS are anticipating fresh changes now that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is acting Education Minister.
The move has been widely speculated following the resignation of Dr Maszlee Malik last week.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office last Friday said the Cabinet, during its meeting on Jan 8, agreed that Dr Mahathir be made the acting minister.
“This decision is effective from Jan 3 and Dr Mahathir will be in acting capacity until the new Education Minister is appointed, ” according to the two-paragraph statement.
Dr Mahathir takes over the position from Maszlee who resigned from the post on Jan 2, just hours after he visited a few schools on the first day of the school yea
With Dr Mahathir having indicated to make Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning more prominent, Zahra Mohamad Zaki, 16, hopes that Dr Mahathir will standardise the language used in the Math and Science syllabus.
“As of now, both students and teachers are bilingual in the classroom and it complicates our studies, ” Zahra said.
Zahra, who will be sitting for her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination next year, also hoped there would be no more last-minute changes like the ones implemented in last year’s Form Three Assessment (PT3).
Arasan Mark Muthusamy, 16, is hopeful that Dr Mahathir would introduce policies to ensure students really benefit from them.
Mohamed Adam Mohamed Ashraff, 16, who thinks Dr Mahathir is suitable for the post, wants the acting Education Minister to ensure there is better planning in the education system.
“The new subject package system for Form Four students from this year seemed like a good idea but more planning could have been done to ensure it reaches its full potential, ” he said.
At 19, student Fareena Ahmad Fohad, supports having Dr Mahathir as the acting Education Minister.
“I’m sure he has ideas about what would be good for our education. It’s good that he is filling up the position, ” she said.
Fareena, who is now preparing for her Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), feels that secondary school could have better prepared her for Form Six.
“Now it feels as though I have a big gap to fill in, just to keep up with the Form Six syllabus, ” she said.
But she hoped that Dr Mahathir will not make too many changes, adding that students’ performances and motivation levels can be affected. Student Neeraly Rajes Patel, 15, said her worry is last-minute changes to the PT3 examination that she will be sitting for at the end of the year.
She also hoped that a smooth transition of policies set in place by Dr Mahathir to his appointed successor will take place.