MUKAH, Sept 29: Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women and Childhood Development Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah totally agree with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement in New York that Malaysia’s education system needed to be revised, English needed to be more widely used, and to inculcate noble values among children.
She said any change that needed to be made must be based on need, and the emphasis must be on the outcome.
“The country’s education system should be more on 21st Century skills such as ICT, communication multilingual, English and Bahasa Malaysia as well as thinking, analytical, critical and creative skills,” she said at the Dalat District-level Teachers’ Appreciation Day 2018 here today.
Fatimah emphasised that the focus must not only be on knowledge alone but also on human values — respect others, feeling of patriotism and knowing the Rukun Negara.
She said the approach used to be child or student-centred.
“The development of each individual must be dealt with in a uniform and holistic manner,” she stressed.
Fatimah said in school, the assessment method should be used to assess the students’ progress on learning or for learning to enrich or for remedial processes.
“Assessment must not be just for ranking purposes,” she added.
As for early childhood education, she said it must be considered as an integral part of the education system.
“Brain development rate is highest below five years old. Quality nurturing and educating at this stage lays the foundation for quality human capital of the future,” she pointed out.
“Physical activity must also be made part of the school culture. Physical activity during school day benefits learning. Physical activities that are integrated into academic subjects are associated with good learning outcomes.”
Fatimah said the schooling process must be made meaningful and enjoyable.
“Schooling becomes meaningful to students when learning has taken place and the students feel that their wellbeing are always the focus of the schooling process,” she said.
Fatimah also emphasised that teachers ought to be empowered and the education system decentralised.
“For this to take place, especially in Sarawak, there must be devolution of power and autonomy in education for Sarawak as provided for under MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963). Empowerment does not mean abdication. The federal government must still be obliged to provide financial support to schools,” she said. — DayakDaily