Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Group wants a say over blueprint's final draft

Coalition on Plan of Action for Malaysia (GBM) wants the Education Ministry to release the final draft of the Malaysian Educational Blueprint (MEB) 2013-2015 immediately and then delay its implementation.

NONEGBM chairperson Tan Yew Sing (left) said the 25-member multi-ethnic coalition was concerned that the blueprint’s final draft was set to be finalised and released on Sept 6 without adequately considering the recommendations of civil society.

He said no responsible stakeholder in the country should allow the education system to become a “political football” and therefore, GBM wanted to ensure the draft was given further feedback.

“It is improper for Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to imply that the blueprint will not be delayed despite objections from any quarters,” said Tan in a press conference today.

He said he had reservations over why the ministry did not disclose the details for the so-called 17,000 changes made for the final draft.

“We want to know what (suggestions) have been adopted, and what have not, and why,” he stressed.

He explained that the democratic process was time-consuming, but for the sake of the betterment of the next generation, civil society should be given sufficient time to study the final draft and comment further.

Tan added that at the end of last year, GBM had sent a 10-page-long memorandum which consisted of 15 recommendations to the government, but there had not been a response.

Tan said the 15 suggestions addressed crucial aspects such as national education philosophy, vocational education, vernacular education, language medium, teaching of history, the dropout issue and establishment of trust schools.

He further criticised that there was no point to shout “Malaysia Boleh” when the standard of the Malaysian education system was low, and said to be left behind by Thailand and Brazil.

“According to the latest statistics, the standard of Mathematics and Science is two years behind China and three years behind Singapore,” he said.

Meeting with minister sought

Tan added that GBM had issued a letter last week to the ministry to seek a discussion, and the reply was awaited.

Asked about the next step if the ministry ignored the appeal, Tan said GBM would express its concerns through rational methods, but not by engaging in all sorts of protests.

NONE“But if the 25 groups under GBM wanted to hold protests, they have their own right to do so,” he said.

Meanwhile, National Indian Rights Action Team (Niat) chairperson Thasleem Mohamed Ibrahim (right) described Muhyiddin’s approach on the blueprint issue as “arrogant”.

“If he (Muhyiddin) wants to play politics, go to Umno and play, but don’t play with our children’s education and future,” he lamented.

He urged the government to change its mindset that regarded those who criticised national policies as enemies.

“Our criticism is for the people’s benefit,” he said.
~ Malaysiakini

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