KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 (Bernama) — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said an improvement in the quality of education is one of the five main initiatives which have been achieved in the first two years of the Malaysian Education Blueprint (PPPM) 2013-2025 in transforming the national education.
The deputy prime minister said the other four aspects were increasing access to quality education; equity in education; cultivating unity in education; and improving efficiency in the delivery of education.
“I am proud because we have realised the 11 thrusts of the PPPM as presented in the second annual report on the implementation of the PPPM.
“I am proud of the commitment shown not only by education personnel, but also by parents, the community and the private sector, in achieving the PPPM,” Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said when presenting the 2014 Annual Report of the 2013-2025 PPPM at the Seri Bintang Complex Hall in Kuala Lumpur, Monday.
On increasing access to quality education, Muhyiddin said among the successes which had been achieved was an increase in the enrollment of pre-schoolers from 81.7 per cent to 84.2 per cent, resulting from the efforts of the ministry to diversify initiatives and incentives.
Other obvious changes seen in post-secondary education was the setting up of Form Six centres in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Selangor and Sabah last year, he said.
Muhyiddin said the improved quality in education emphasised the LINUS 2.0 programme (Literary and Numeracy programme) with 98.7 per cent of Year Three pupils achieving basic literacy in Bahasa Melayu, 99 per cent mastering basic numeracy and 78.3 per cent of Year Two pupils achieving basic literacy in English Language, out of the more than a million pupils who were screened.
“The programme for the competency of English Language teachers will also be continued as part of the effort carried out in 2013, where a total of 10,502 English Language teachers were retrained under the Programme for English Language Teachers (ProELT).
“Efforts which are more focused on English Language proficiency have also implemented by identifying 1,191 English Language hotspot schools, which are schools below the national average for English Language marks,” he said.
The deputy prime minister said through the Sarana Ibu Bapa programme, efforts were being made to improve the quality of education in their own areas including providing the Smart TV in classrooms and through cultural exchange programmes overseas.
On equity in education, he said the ministry was always committed to narrowing the gap between urban and rural areas as pledged in the PPPM.
“Through the District Transformation Programme, we have succeeded in reducing Band 6 and 7 schools from 1.39 per cent in 2013 to 0.9 per cent in 2014.
“Meanwhile, schools in Band 1 and 2 increased to 36.8 per cent in 2014 compared to 31 per cent in 2013,” he said.
The ministry also increased its efforts to instill unity in education through the Student Integration for Unity Plan (RIMUP) involving 3,011 schools throughout the country, he said.
He said a study conducted by the School Inspectorate and Quality Assurance Department last year showed that 87.2 per cent of pupils interacted with their friends from other races in the class during co-curriculum and sports activities.
Muhyiddin said in the effort to increase efficiency of education delivery, the ministry continued to maximise student output for every ringgit spent.
“From the budget allocated in 2014, the ministry has channeled 23 per cent of the non-emolument budget savings to activities which have a direct impact on student output, from the set target of 10 per cent,” he said.
He said, in line with the 21st century learning, the ministry had also identified 8,884 schools throughout the country to be equipped with 1BestariNet while 6,623 schools were provided with high-speed internet.
“After two years, we could see changes in the classroom. Not only in how the classes are conducted, but the role of the teachers have also changed and they are now more of a facilitator to assist the students obtain accurate and correct information at the tip of their fingers,” he said.
At the same time, he said, arriving at the end of the PPPM Wave 1, between 2013 to 2015, did not mean that all parties should slow down work.
They should instead work harder and be more committed in ensuring an rise in achievement for each transformation initiative which had been planned, he said.