'Cosmetic changes won't reverse lack of quality education'

Gerakan wants the Education Ministry to get its priorities right instead of focusing on non-substantial issues such as the colour of school children's shoes and specialised university car registration plates to rake in profits for the higher education institutions.

The party's legal and human rights bureau chief Baljit Singh said these cosmetic issues would not help to improve the quality of education in schools or universities and would not reverse the lack of quality.

"Regarding the colour of shoes, we are told that the parents of students have met with Education Minister Maszlee Malik. I do not know how many hundreds and thousands of parents have met him to make him come to the decision overnight," Baljit told Malaysiakini.

"But changing of shoes will not change the quality of education in the country," he added.

"As for personalised car plate numbers, I'm not sure if this would increase the quality of education as well.

"As the minister of education, he should focus on the standard of teaching staff, improve education as a whole in the country, improve the standard of the command of the English and Malay languages and look into the recognition of the United Examination Certificate (UEC)," Baljit said.

"There are more pressing issues than to focus on children's shoes and car registration plates. The country's quality of education needs urgent attention, not these," he added.

Yesterday, Maszlee (photo) said the Education Ministry has agreed with the Transport Ministry to sell special number plates to alumni of public universities.
This would be a form of additional funding for the universities, he said, adding that the ministry would try to issue and sell number plates through a collaboration between the Road Transport Department and the universities.

As a graduate of Universiti Malaya, Maszlee said, he would be proud to have a car registration plate that starts with "UM", and he urged former students to help out their alma mater.

The fees to buy the specialised plate can go to the RTD (50 percent) and the universities (50 percent), he added during a during a question-and-answer session on education organised by the Karangkraf Media Group.

Baljit said that instead of these cosmetic changes, Maszlee should get moving on the education system proper as the quality has deteriorated over the years.

"This is Malaysia Baru, let's put politics aside and work together to improve the quality of education," he added.
Baljit joins several quarters who have criticised Maszlee over his new education policies and proposed practices, which are not in tandem with the aspirations of the New Malaysia.

Maszlee has mooted a decade dedicated to empowering Bahasa Melayu in Malaysia, Southeast Asia and the world, while stressing the importance of learning English and a third language, such as Mandarin, Tamil, Hindi, or even foreign languages such as Japanese, German or French.

On Pakatan Harapan's GE14 manifesto to recognise the UEC, Maszlee said the matter is still under review - and this has irked some who criticised his statement as not fulfilling the coalition's election promise.

 

Source: https://goo.gl/StEVsD

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