A step in the right direction

THE Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) would like to commend the Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik, for introducing a more flexible education model for upper secondary students (“Science or Arts? New system ends debate”). We believe that with this new system, students will not feel that they are being pressured into career paths because they have been streamed after their PT3 (Form Three Assessment).

There are two things we would like to highlight. Firstly, we hope that the Education Ministry and secondary schools will be able to execute this new system smoothly so that Form Four students next year will be able to study in focused and stress-free conditions.

Secondly, the ministry has taken the step to change the streaming system; as such we ask that other important aspects of our education system also be considered. For instance, the ministry should do something to eliminate Malaysia’s “work-book” culture and it should also introduce a syllabus that encourages critical thinking and causes students to be more socially aware and concerned.

Furthermore, there should be more stringent assessment to determine if someone is suitable to be a teacher in terms of both qualifications and temperament; likewise with certain positions in schools such as the principal, disciplinary teacher, etc.

To better our education system it is vital to look at the whole picture; the ministry must look at “what” students are taught and also “how” students are taught.

There has been criticism from some interested parties that the new system of having subject “packages” is just a smokescreen

to mask the streaming system. While it is true that students are not free to mix and match subjects to get any combination they wish, it is undeniable that there are

more subject combination options for those entering Form Four in 2020.

This is a step in the right direction, as it will open the door to more positive changes to our education system in the near future.

MOHIDEEN ABDUL KADER , President, Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)

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