KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s education syllabus is trailing three years behind that of Singapore, according to former Youth and Sports minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman. In a speech at the Dewan Rakyat, he cited the Programme for International Student Assessments (Pisa) and said that a 15-year-old Malaysian student’s understanding of subjects like mathematics and science is on par with a 12-year-old Singaporean student.
“Why is our education output still behind based on Pisa’s report? The report shows that a (Malaysian) 15-year-old student’s understanding of maths and science is three years behind, compared to a Singaporean child, who is only 12 years old,” he said.
Saddiq also elaborated on how middle-income parents, regardless of their racial background, would rather invest a bit more money and register their children in private schools. He said that teachers in public schools are burdened with a lot of responsibilities, including clerical work and other duties, which causes them to lose focus on their main task.
“Secondly, they also have to ensure that the syllabus system follows the modernisation of global civilisation,” he added.
Saddiq emphasised that the issue of education must be prioritised because it will lead to a class gap between the rich and poor in terms of accessibility to quality education. He highlighted the importance of creating a syllabus that is able to keep up with the constantly evolving global landscape, and one that would ensure that every child has access to quality education, regardless of their financial background.
Malaysia has been working on improving its education system, but it seems that it still has a long way to go. Saddiq’s comments serve as a reminder that the country must make education a top priority if it wants to stay competitive and ensure that its citizens have access to quality education that will prepare them for the future. – mediahit