To do well in any subject you must be able to think correctly! Thinking skills are something you can learn and develop. Ask yourself questions as you read your textbooks and notes. Talk to other students whom you notice have good thinking skills. You can also sharpen your thinking skills by taking IQ tests available in books or the Internet, or playing games that require thinking such as word games.



Education For All In Malaysia

Last update: 26/02/2010
By Nurul Halawati Azhari

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 (Bernama) -- The Unesco's statistics for 2009 placed Malaysia at 11th out of 137 nations that allocated a huge budget for education.

On the average for this decade, Malaysia's allocation for the education sector is about 25 per cent or a quarter of its budget, making education the sector that received the lion's share of the government's expenditure.

With such a huge allocation, the nation's education system is continuously undergoing transformation and improvement.

The goal is none other than creating a society that focuses on education and knowledge, above everything else.

PRE-REQUISITE, 1MALAYSIA

Education, as the primary pre-requisite for the success of any nation, has been turned into an aspirational value in the concept of 1Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had stated that the education process is not only restricted to the classroom alone, but it is a lifelong process that moves on either in or out of the teaching and learning climate.

Education will drive Malaysians to think and act without too much having their self interest, in fact giving priority to the community.

Education also has another strong point. The nation's strength and endurance are build on its people that have knowledge and education as these could overwhelm the military might. As such, the nation needs to have a society that focuses on education and knowledge.

CREATING A SOCIETY WITH KNOWLEDGE

In the effort to create a society with knowledge, not only formal education comes into focus. Instead inculcating the reading habit is among the core values of a society with knowledge.

The Malaysian Reading Profile Study 2005 by the National Library of Malaysia (PNM) found that the number of books read by Malaysians in the past 10 years improved to two books each in a year as compared to the average of only two in 1996.

Despite this improvement, the figure is still minimal for a nation that has a population of 28 million. Everybody should realise that the reading culture is able to create Malaysians that exercise an open mind.

Complementing this move, Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) with the collaboration of PNM has provided reading materials in each of its coaches in the inter-city service. An effort that should bring in the compliments.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

Meanwhile, the effort to inculcate 1Malaysia in education should begin right from the time in school as this is the place where children socialise with each other.

Hence the curriculum developed for primary schools should focus on the aspects that needed to be inculcated to generate the 1Malaysia concept and should have avenues to hold interaction and joint activities.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who is also the Education Minister, in his speech at the recent function held to recognise high performance schools (SBT), had pointed out that the creation of the SBT as the country's model schools was not intended to marginalise the other schools.

The government would implement specially-formulated programmes to impove the SBT apart from emphasising on the social responsibility of these schools to guide other schools to improve their own performance via a guidance programme.

Apart from education, meritocracy is another aspirational value of 1Malaysia. Maybe many relate this aspect to education particularly in the admission to tertiary-level education institutions.

In 2002, the meritocracy system was implemented for the first time for admission into the public institutions of higher learning (IPTA). This replaced the previous 'quota system' that the admission was for 55 per cent Bumiputera and 45 per cent for the others.

This new system, that provides the opportunity for all to obtain high education, aims to create a united society, a society that does not have to worry about the interest of the respective ethnic groups. In other words, a society that places national interest first.

NOT ONLY IN EDUCATION

The meritocracy aspect is not only stressed in education alone. The real meaning of meritocracy in 1Malaysia is a direction that should be practiced in a democratic nation to ensure the people are qualified and meet the criteria required to guide the country to achieve progress.

Meritocracy focuses on open competition based on the stipulated criteria and anybody who meets these criteria are deemed as elligible.

In the implementation, the selection is based on performance and culture of excellence to maximise the potential in all fields.

For example in the procurement field, contracts are offered via open tenders and the firm picked should meet the required criteria.

This covers the choice of firms, contractors, consultants and the likes as all parties should compete and prove their worth apart from providing the best offer on the price of products, services and outcome promised.

This is to make Malaysians to be up to the global challenges.

Hence, no Malaysians should feel they are being marginalised as each of them is entitled to their rights as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

-- BERNAMA