Malaysian education system should take cue from Cambridge system, says PBK sec-gen

Priscilla Lau

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KUCHING, Nov 26: Malaysia’s education system should be in line with the Cambridge Assessment International Education (Cambridge) system, opines Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) secretary-general Priscilla Lau.

This is so students have a free choice of subjects to study with one language and mathematics being the core subjects and the remainder can comprise a mix of subjects up to a minimum of 6 subjects (including the core subjects).

“Under the Cambridge system of education, students are encouraged and aided to succeed by being able to sit for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams over 24 months as colleges and universities recognise such accreditations. Therefore, the Cambridge system of education is truly designed to help students succeed and it is highly relevant to their tertiary studies,” according to Lau in a statement.

She was responding to Ministry of Education deputy director-general Dr Habibah Abdul Rahim’s statement carried by a news portal today, disclosing the ministry is offering new packages for upper secondary students under the two umbrellas of science and arts when the school term opens next January.

Habibah revealed students will be given subject packages which cater to their interests and capabilities, namely STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), literature and humanities.

She also revealed the subject packages offered to students will depend on the capabilities, availability, suitability in facilities or infrastructure, as well as consideration of each school.

The new packages are:

STEM A: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Core subjects, three pure science subjects and Additional Mathematics. Students can add up to four other electives, including languages.

STEM B: Core subjects, two pure science subjects, Additional Mathematics, at least one applied science or non-science elective.

STEM C: Core subjects, two applied science or technical elective or one vocational elective

Humanities and Arts: Core subjects and electives from languages, Islamic Studies, arts and humanities and/or one Stem elective. (Vocational election not included in Stem elective.

Lau also quoted Habibah as saying “Good students may be advised to take up pure science”, while the Ministry’s Curriculum Division director Mohamed Abu Bakar was also quoted as saying “Good students” are still likely to be advised to take up pure science subjects and therefore, be placed in classes which take the STEM A package.

Disagreeing with both, Lau argued that there is no such thing as a good or bad student.

“Students are gifted in different areas of studies. I was never streamlined into science but I’m not a ‘bad student’ according to Habibah’s definition,” she asserted.

Meanwhile, Lau also questioned the relevancy of History, Islamic and Moral studies as core subjects. — DayakDaily