PETALING JAYA: Students should not be made to repeat the school year to make up for loss of learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Instead, all available resources should be spent on revising the curriculum to “trim the fat”, according to panellists at a forum this evening.
During the forum titled “Our Education System: Overview of Challenges and Solutions” organised by G25 Malaysia, Edunity Foundation and BFM, chief executive officer of Teach for Malaysia Chan Soon Seng said many had recommended against repeating the school year.
“The issue should not be on getting children to where they were before, but on what children actually need to move forward.
“One extra year of school is not going to get them back on track. Also, it will cost the government too much and will be extremely inefficient,” he said.
Instead, he suggested a relaxation of the requirement for teachers to finish the syllabus, so that they would have more freedom to teach, based on their students’ needs.
“We also need to put resources into the hands of teachers and consider additional support beyond just the teaching force,” he said.
He suggested that the education ministry involve partnerships with NGOs to bring in different resources to support teachers, giving an example of the UK which had allocated specific funding for tutoring.
Meanwhile, Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim of the Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) said resources should go towards drawing up a new school curriculum, adding that “it should not go back to what it was before”.
She said the government should take advantage of the pandemic to make necessary improvements to education.
“We should cut the fat (in the syllabus), trim it down and make it lean. Only give what is necessary to students,” she said.
On her request to the new education minister, who will be named tomorrow morning, she said there was a need for more training.
“Make teachers professionals and reward them for having high standards of teaching.”
She also suggested setting up a separate branch at the education ministry to look into specific initiatives for teachers.
Meanwhile, other panellists also suggested that the new education minister collaborate with civil society organisations, the community and parents for better initiatives.