KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry would implement 15 recommendations in the effort to increase the number of science stream students in schools, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
The 15 are part of 61 recommendations put forward by the Committee Studying the Policy of 60:40 Science/Technical: Arts Stream ratio, set up the ministry on Feb 2 and chaired by Education Director-General Tan Sri Abd Ghafar Mahmud.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said among the recommendations to be implemented were reviewing the direction of science and technology education and its definition and increasing the teaching and learning hours for all pure science subjects from four to four periods a week.
"To ensure the students learn in a conducive environment, the government will renovate and upgrade the existing laboratories in primary and secondary schools.
"These efforts will be part of the National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 which is being fine-tuned," he said at the launching of the Science and Technology Acculturation Awareness Campaign and launching of the Strategies to Achieve the 60:40 Science/Technical:Arts Stream Policy Report at Petrosains KLCC, here, on Friday.
The report was published following several meetings, workshops and dialogues held with various groups including parents, teachers, education associations and non-governmental organisations with the report findings presented to Muhyiddin on Nov 5.
The 15 recommendations mentioned will be implemented collaboratively involving the public sector including the Education Ministry, Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and Higher Education Ministry, and the private sector and community.
Muhyiddin said the other recommendations to be implemented would be the enquiry and discovery learning approach, monitoring of the teaching and learning process and reintroduction of the practical science-centred examination at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia level.
The recommendations also include increasing the amount of the Federal Minor Scholarship for Form Four and Form Five science students from RM70 to RM200 monthly and the University Preparatory Class Scholarship for Form Six students from RM110 to RM300 monthly.
For the teaching staff, the government will provide a better career path and recognition to science and technology teachers that commensurate with their academic qualifications, and ensure that the teacher training curriculum leans towards developing expertise and skills in the field of pure science and technology.
The deputy prime minister suggested that the science discovery centres like the National Science Centre, Petrosains and Planetarium intensify campaigns, exhibitions and activities involving teachers and parents to encourage students to take up science.
He said the interactive approach used at the science centres in learning and appreciating science appeared to be effective.
"I believe the role played by parents, the community and the corporate and private sectors is a social responsibility towards building a positive environment for the acculturation of science in the home, school and the surrounding environment," he said. - Bernama