Malaysia lacks a persistent and consistent vision for educational outcomes and reform, especially given that education policies constantly change every few years following changes of Education Ministers.
Penang Institute said the country also lacks a commitment to comprehensive and broad education goals with the discourse of the current framework gives too much focus on economic outcomes rather than incorporating other important social objectives.
From an educational roundtable held recently, the Institute also found that the implementation of changes in education policy is not well planned and hastily executed without proper pilot projects and trial periods.
The roundtable were attended by a diverse group of experts, researchers, academics and other stakeholders.
The Institute also noted that the current education system did not take into account the challenges faced by those from marginalised backgrounds and does not allow them to improve their life chances and opportunities.
It noted that many parents were choosing to send their children to private or alternative schools because they lack confidence in national schools.
It pointed out that the current School Based Assessment(SBA) has had many shortcomings including over-centralisation, the lack of capacity at the state and local district levels to implement SBA, poor IT infrastructure, the lack of understanding among teachers about the educational principles underlying SBA and others.
The Institute also pointed out that Malaysia has an overly centralised education system at the federal level according to most studies.
The Institute said there is no one-size-fits-all solution that can address all the problems highlighted above, nor is decentralisation the prescribed cure.
“However, given the paucity of the research on the potential impact of decentralisation of the education system in the Malaysian context, it will be tremendously helpful if a more in-depth exploration of this topic can be conducted,” it said. -Harakahdaily