Hornbill Unleashed

June 3, 2017

See lauds recent reform impulse in education

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 11:42 AM

Image result for See Chee HowBatu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How is delighted with Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin’s enthusiasm in reforming and restructuring the policies and systems needed in Sarawak.

However, See reiterated that the minister should first clarify with the federal education ministry to define and determine the fiscal, legislative and administrative powers and authorities of Sarawak in order to ensure that the state government’s efforts and plans come to fruition.

The fact that Sarawak schools rank a lowly 13 (out of 15) in overall academic performance in Malaysia, he pointed out, is unacceptable and speaks of the need to reassess the education policies implemented in Sarawak over the last five decades to identify the weaknesses and oversight of the federal government.

“It is a lame excuse of the federal government to say there are too many schools scattered all over Sarawak, many having low enrolment that led to the lack of facilities and specialist teachers,” See told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Manyin recently disclosed that Sarawak schools rank 13 out of 15 in overall academic level in the nation despite improvement in the last few years.

Besides attributing the poor performance to lack of facilities and specialist teachers, Manyin said there are too many schools scattered all over the state, many with very low enrolment.

See, who is also state PKR vice-chairman, opined that it is the sheer neglect of Putrajaya and lack of care towards Sarawak in every aspect of nation-building, be it education, health care, infrastructural development, telecommunication, tourism, trade or industrial development.

“We have endured the problem of dilapidated schools particularly in rural Sarawak and prevalently inferior and inadequate school facilities throughout Sarawak.

“The federal ministry should have conducted the necessary studies and assessments to identify and resolve the shortcomings.”

He added that most schools in Sarawak were built during the colonial days and early years of the Federation and the isolation and poor accessibility to nearby communities had resulted in many schools of low enrolment.

With improved accessibility in recent decades, parents are more than willing to send their children to nearby schools with better facilities to ensure better academic achievements.

Many had and are sending the children to towns and cities to stay with relatives and friends, just so that they will attend schools with better facilities, he said.

“If it is the policy of the Education Department to merge and conjoin nearby small rural village schools, accessible to all, and with proper schools buildings, good academic facilities and teachers, school buses and public transportation for the children and additionally satisfactory boarding facilities in others, such policy will certainly be well-received by parents and their elected representatives.

“The paradigm shift must start with the ministry with details planned and revealed. Models or prototyped combined or merged schools, with details of facilities will certainly be helpful.”

See applauded the state administration for taking upon themselves to identify, reform and restructure the educational policies and systems needed in Sarawak.

“All Sarawakians are convinced that Sarawak requires and will benefit from autonomy in education. While we laud the vision of the state administration, it calls to question the details and progress in the negotiation for this education autonomy.

“Without the necessary and material commitment from the federal government for funds to rebuild our schools, the firm devolution of power allowing us to legislate and administer our educational policies and systems, the weak and pathetic situation will persist.”

See hailed Manyin for persuading the federal education ministry to extend the service of 75 interim teachers until the end of the year and allowing them to retake the psychometric test to be recruited as permanent teachers.

However, he said the state’s autonomy in education should include the recruitment of teachers and the psychometric test should not be the sole means to decide whether the candidates may be recruited.

“All psychologists agree that psychometric assessment and ‘test’ which is very much personality profiling may reveal what kind of teachers the candidates would be, hence helpful in recruitment, but they cannot tell if a particular candidate is going to be a good or bad teacher.”

Those ‘tests’ designed to examine whether potential recruits have the ‘blend of empathy, communication and resilience’ essential for success as a teacher, should be one of many tools to help the ministry decide.

“With these temporary teachers teaching in schools, the ministry should conduct interviews and examine the performance of their students to decide whether they have performed satisfactorily as teachers.”

Source : The Borneo Post Online


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