Experts to jointly review Malaysia’s education system

By Choi Tuck Wo, The Star

PARIS: Malaysia and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) experts will jointly review the national education system in line with global changes.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the move would provide a more balanced assessment of the country’s education system.

He stressed that the review would cover only the implementation process and not policy which had been accepted by the people.

“We will draw up the terms of reference for the review and, hopefully, it can start this year,” he told Malaysian journalists after meeting Unesco director-general Koichiro Matsuura at the organisation’s headquarters yesterday.

Muhyiddin arrived here earlier for a three-day working visit.

This is his first working visit overseas as deputy premier and Education Minister.

Muhyiddin said education must move in tandem with, if possible ahead of, what’s happening around the world.

“We’re looking at the bigger picture. We want our education quality to be on par with world standards,” he said, citing the progress in the fields of technology, science, ICT and knowledge,

He said Malaysia would benefit from the experience and expertise of Unesco in helping to improve the system to achieve the national education objectives.

“They can provide us with a third person’s perspective on how to further raise our education standards to a higher level,” he added.

Muhyiddin, however, said the review did not mean there were weaknesses in the education system which had achieved success over the years.

Muhyiddin said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been invited to address the 35th Unesco General Conference’s first plenary session on Oct 6.

This would be the first time in Malaysia’s 51-year history with Unesco that its Prime Minister would address the world body’s opening plenary session as such invitations are usually reserved for heads of states.

He said it was a historic milestone for Malaysia as Unesco has never invited a head of government to give a keynote speech at its first plenary session.

“This will provide an opportunity for our Prime Minister to present his vision and mission in addressing issues of global interests,” he said after presenting Najib’s acceptance letter to Matsuura.

Muhyiddin met Elysee Palace secretary-general Claude Gueant and French Education Minister Luc Chatel before attending a dinner with the Malaysian community in France.