A Far-Sighted and Fair Education Policy
Education is now such a contentious issue in Malaysia as it is seen as the pathway to economic success in an environment where there is a huge differential between manual labour and intellectual labour and where all basic needs have been commodified and have to be bought on the market.
With rapidly increasing productivity and robotics, this socio-economic model is not sustainable. We need to move towards an economy where work for all is assured by reducing the number of hours each one works, and where basic needs are subsidized, including housing, health, education, transport and water.
In such a scenario, education becomes the opportunity for opening the mind and for the full flowering of human potential. For a start we want free primary, secondary and tertiary education for all. Malaysians deserve quality holistic education that nurtures creativity, critical thinking as well as scientific and technological knowledge required for research & development and vocational skills. There should be equal opportunities for all with no discrimination in enrolment into tertiary educational institutions. Besides building national schools using BM, mother tongue schools for the various ethnic groups should be built in education precincts sharing facilities to promote integration, ensuring proportionate financial support and training adequate teachers for these schools.
We call for:
- Promote quality holistic education, equal opportunities, creativity as well as scientific and technological knowledge required for research & development;
- Ensure that education in the public sector is secular and free of political and religious interference;
- No discrimination in enrolment into publicly owned tertiary educational institutions . Greater investment in building and expanding public universities.
- Besides building national schools using BM, mother tongue schools for the various ethnic groups to be built in education precincts sharing facilities to promote integration, ensuring proportionate financial support and training adequate teachers for these schools;
- Free primary, secondary and tertiary education for all;
- Academic freedom for universities, free from interference from the Government;
- Integrate art, music and theatre into primary and secondary school syllabuses;
- Create a national education system for apprenticeships and vocational training that is geared towards the future creative and green economy;
- Eliminate “elite schools” and end discriminatory funding policies – all national schools to be equally funded with incentives for good teachers to move to under-performing and rural schools;
- All national schools, not just selected premier schools, to have sports and arts facilities to encourage athletic and cultural excellence;
- Higher investment and social incentives for teachers’ salary and job satisfaction, to transform the profession into one of the most well-respected and desirable career paths for talented young people.