Did the national education blueprint 2006-2010 unveiled by former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi revolutionise the education sector and achieve its objective?
He insisted that education transformation would take place only if the education ministry made constructive structural overhaul and recruit multi racial talents with wide experience from different backgrounds.
“For transformation to take place all selection and decision making bodies in education ministry must be made multi racial and multi lingual in view of the fact that we have Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese, Tamil and agama schools,” suggested Ramakrishnan today.
He doubted the system can ever be revamped when those tasked to implement the new dynamic education system were the same people who have deteriorated the current system with their actions and inactions over the years.
He believes that hardliners at the political and bureaucracy level would surely resist the smooth liberalisation and transformation of the new system.
Taking into consideration the religious fervor in the education system, he is doubtful the system can be ever reformed by the same staff, who allowed the religiosity to take root.
“Will Perkasa and other hardliners allow decentralisation of school authorities, depolarisation in schools and liberalisation in religious education in the current system?” asked Ramakrishnan.
Over the years, he noted that a generation of good and effective headmasters and ministry officials had already been replaced with mediocre performers, who were now given the responsibility to bring about education transformation.
The 2012 national education blueprint is to make 11 strategic and operational shifts to transform the country’s education system.
“Will it face the same predicament as the earlier ones?” asked Ramakrishnan.
Did 2006 blueprint address polarisation?
Although the country never lacked good laws, policies and plans, he blamed the frequent flip flops, changing of goal post and the half-hearted execution in implementation and enforcement at ground level as main causes for the current quagmire in the education system.
He cited previous attempts to implement smart schools and teach mathematics and science in English which have all wasted billions of ringgit.
“Despite the highest spending on education, Malaysia doesn’t have much to show in terms of achievements and results,” he said.
He recalled that the national education blueprint 2006-2010 unveiled by former premier Abdullah Badawi was to revolutionise the education sector
Abdullah government’s blueprint was to establish a national pre-school curriculum, set up 100 new classes for students with special needs, increase number of single-session schools to 90 per cent for primary and 70 per cent for secondary schools, and decrease number of pupils per class by 2010.
“Are they achieved?
“Did the 2006 blueprint address the problem of racial polarisation in schools as envisaged?” asked Ramakrishnan.
He suggested that the imbibing of critical thinking and analytical discourse must start from teachers themselves.
He called on the Education Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to set up a team to study the underlying reason behind the non-Malays preference for vernacular schools over national ones.
He also suggested that academic high achievers to be rewarded and recruited into civil service regardless of their race and religion.
“Only then it would be a genuine transformation,” said the senator.