Call to set up independent body to oversee educational issues

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 18 Jul 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Policy Team of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) will propose the setting up of an independent education committee to oversee educational issues that do not fall under the Education Ministry’s purview.

After discussions with educational experts, stakeholders, political party leaders and non-

governmental groups, the task force set up by the ministry last October to look into the issue of UEC recognition gathered that an independent education commission was needed to ensure an effective education system.

Task force chairman Eddin Khoo said the team was “seriously going to suggest” to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik that such a commission or ombudsman be set up, which answers directly to Parliament.

“We have conducted close to 60 dialogues, which are two hours each with stakeholders, many of whom suggested an independent commission.

“This is practised in many countries. It is experts who ‘interrogate’ issues of education, asking the important questions and finding a suitable solution,” Khoo told The Star in an interview.

The UEC is the examination for independent Chinese secondary schools. Its recognition was one of Pakatan Harapan’s pledges in its 14th General Election manifesto.

The task force consists of Khoo, Dong Zhong deputy president Datuk Tan Yew Sing, who is also Malaysia-China Chamber of Commerce president, and Muslim Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia president Mohamad Raimi Abdul Rahim.

“We are consensus gatherers. We do not dictate to the ministry on what is to be done. It is up to the ministry to take up our findings,” said Khoo, who is also the founder of the Centre for the Study and Documentation of Traditional Malay Performances (Pusaka).

Describing the task force as the “three musketeers”, Tan said the idea of an independent education commission was brought up by many stakeholders the team spoke to.

“The ministry should be the facilitator while providing some form of regulation. But it cannot be the player, goalkeeper and judge simultaneously,” he said.

Khoo added the team would be meeting more stakeholders from East Malaysia and more “young ones” before submitting the final report to Maszlee.

“We are looking to present the summation of the report in early August, while the final report will be presented at the end of August or in early September,” he said.

See the full report in StarEdu this Sunday.

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