Our youngsters banking on Mahathir to lift education standards

PETALING JAYA: Young Malaysians hope new Education Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will put emphasis on Science and Technology.

“For Malaysia to grow, we need to have a strong manufacturing industry and continued innovation.

“We can’t have these unless we have enough engineers, IT experts and scientists,” said Adrian Chan, a post-graduate student at Warwick University in Britain. “We also need more Malaysians to take up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

“Based on a survey done by the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) in 2011, even Thailand is ahead of us.

“Our Asian neighbours such as Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong are leaders in Pisa’s Maths and Science scores. My wish is to see Malaysian students able to catch up and compete with them.”

Lim Wern Jie, probably Malaysia’s youngest professional application developer at 15, said the Education Ministry should use updated materials, especially for ICT.

“Since technology advances quickly, we should use e-learning for these subjects rather than textbooks.

“Books can be outdated by the time they are published. For example, primary school Information Technology books still talk about Microsoft Office 2010 while Office 2019 is about to be released soon,” he said when contacted.

Lim, who obtained a scholarship to study in the National University of Singapore’s High School of Math and Science, said computers in school labs should also be updated to the latest operating systems.

He said teaching methods should also be improved.

“Based on my experience, most students who learn how to use software in primary and secondary school often just blindly follow instructions from the textbook.

“Some cannot complete the tests and homework without the textbook. This shows that the current teaching method is ineffective and should be improved,” he said.

He said he had high hopes for education in Malaysia and expected the new Prime Minister to be the “Father of Modernisation 2.0”.

Lim is a self-taught coding wizard who has already developed more than 50 apps.

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