Next minister needs macro-level thinking to tackle Malaysian education issues

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Dec 3: Education should not be politicized, said Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah in the wake of Dr Maszlee Malik’s resignation as education minister yesterday.

The Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development said that  the country should focus more on critical subjects such as English, Science, Mathematics and technical education.

“Our rankings in English, Mathematics, Science, technical and vocational, aspects of unity, spirit of patriotism have faded. With such a backdrop, the expectations of the minister of education are very high.

“The person must look at the big picture and find solutions and not just look at small issues that are easily solved at the school level,” she said.

“Avoid directives, circulars that harm students, teachers and schools and the local community. Anyone appointed as the minister of education should pay attention to important matters that have not been effectively addressed,” she said.

Fatimah stressed that basic education should be focused on the development and well-being of the people.

“Therefore, we must have a progressive, dynamic, relevant education system based on local and global changes and demands.”

Meanwhile Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing called Dr Maszlee’s stepping down an honourable act.

“The resignation of Dr Maszlee as an Education Minister, is a very honourable act by a politician. He had done his best to improve the Malaysian education system.

“Unfortunately, however, his best was not good enough for the nation. So when that happens, what do you do? You resign.

“I hope others who have been under-performing will follow Dr Maszlee’s example,” Masing said today.

Dr Maszlee had announced his resignation yesterday after being embroiled in controversy upon controversy, starting with black shoes, to swimming lessons using hotel facilities and finally to incorporating Jawi or khat calligraphy course modules for vernacular schools. —DayakDaily