‘System doesn’t support science’

(Bernama) KUALA LUMPUR: While science and technology are critical to producing creative thinkers to attain the country's goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020, the education system is not supportive of this.

Newly-appointed Professor Emeritus Datuk Mohamed Abdul Majid said Malaysia still lagged behind developed countries in science and technology.

As a result, he said, the Education and Higher Education ministries should study the school curriculum to raise the quality of education.

"In science, we are below the world average, meaning that we are, in no way, catching up with the advanced countries.

"We have to develop if we are to become a fully-developed nation by 2020," he said.

The 61-year-old scientist and educator for the past 35 years was conferred the rank of professor emeritus by Universiti Malaya yesterday.

"At the moment, our education system is not supporting the development of science and technology.

"When you are talking about science and technology, you are talking about people who can think, people who have intellectual power, logical thinking, critical thinking and creativity," said Mohamed, who is attached to the Science Faculty of Brunei Darussalam University.

He said students must have the courage and freedom to acquire more knowledge and not just rely on textbooks.

"We have got workbooks where you have to answer exactly, the answer that is given by the teacher," he said, adding that the school curriculum must allow students to think and express themselves.

"This is what is happening in many other countries such as Singapore, the United States and South Korea, which allow students to have freedom of expression, so there is much creativity among the students (there)," said Mohamed.

He also suggested that teachers be paid well so that they could give the best to their students.

"We want teachers who are well-qualified. Only then can we expect to get very good students.


"I am suggesting that they have a better salary scale, promotion prospects and better status," he added.