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KUALA LUMPUR, March 13, 2015:

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says there is a need to change the education system as students in the country were lagging behind compared with those in developed nations.

Muhyiddinn, as quoted in Bernama, cited examples of achievements of Malaysian students in tests which were also adopted at the international level.

He said the tests such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) and International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) placed the country among the bottom one-third group.

“As the minister, I was surprised (to see the situation) but I have to accept the fact that our education system is still not that good.

“This is why we have to find an alternative so that we can churn out not only smart children but also comparable with those in developed countries.

“That’s why towards this end, we carried out a study and created the Malaysia Education Blueprint.

“It is most important that within the 13-year period our national education system does not only improve but also the student performance rises in stages.”

He added improvements in the national education system required a lead time of several years before it could show results.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said parents must have confidence that the system was always being improved to churn out students who could compete at the international level.

“The fact is that we cannot make sudden changes… there are certain sections of society who ask why it is only now that the minister (of education) wants to change the education system.

“Previously there was no PT3 (Form 3 Evaluation), PBS (School-Based Evaluation). Like it or not, this is a reality and if we want to make improvements by using the old system, the result will not change.

“Parents must understand, if we want to make a shift, it cannot be done within one year, we have to do it in stages and if it is not done this way, it means that more than 5.6 million primary and secondary schoolchildren will become victims of the old education system.”

He added the government invested substantial funds on education which accounted for 21% of the national budget.

This amount, he said, was much higher compared with the allocation for education made by some more developed countries.

“The national education system has produced many intellectuals in almost all fields such as doctors and engineers. That’s why Malaysia has shifted from a rather poor and backward nation to an almost developed nation.”

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