A new minister is needed for education

No vision, no reform, no improvement in education and now a mass exodus of teachers

Murray Hunter

Teachers are leaving public schools in droves, and Fadhlina blames them.

Fadhlina Sidek is a first time MP and was appointed straight into the cabinet, in a similar manner once of her predecessors Maszlee Malik was. With little experience in both the fields of education and government, Fadhlina now heads up one of the nation’s largest government ministries.

Fadhlina has a strong Islamic pedigree. Her father, the late Siddiq Fadzil was a former president of ABIM, the youth Islamic association of Malaysia. Fadhlina herself attended the Sekolah Agama Menengah Hulu, in Kajang, Selangor, and later the International Islamic University of Malaysia (UIA).

Fadhlina was most probably appointed a minister out of her loyalty to prime minister Anwar Ibrahim. This must have carried much weight, due to her lack of experience, and competence in the field her ministry is responsible for,

There has been little focus on the issues of raising the standard of STEM education, overhauling curriculum to make it more relevant to current times, and addressing issues such as teacher absenteeism.

The use of government resources to defend teachers in court accused of long-term absenteeism in class, and subject to civil actions, indicates Fadhlina wants to cover up and suppress institutional problems, rather than find solution for the causes of these problems.

Politicizing schools through the directive to hold a Palestine Solidarity Week, has received international criticism, and widened a rift between some of the coalition partners in the government. Fadhlina’s decision on holding the Palestinian Solidarity Week, shows an inept lack of wisdom over the potential collateral damage from the exercise. The promotion of violence and bizarre celebration of death has no place in Malaysian schools.

One would have thought a highly experienced person could have been put in charge of one of the most important ministries in the government. Education is full of issues and problems that need urgent attention. The continuing decline of education standards continues under Fadhlina. With the introduction of Al-Nawawi’s 40 Hadith module indicates Fadhlina’s attempts to further Islamize school curriculum.

Instead of a heavy weight, a light weight puppet, only there to serve her superior was chosen as education minister. Fadhlina has shown herself to be a cheap politician looking for publicity, rather than someone passionate about the responsibilities she was given.

Issues and concerns: Further Islamization of schools, stirring up hate and aggression among young children, using to public funds to defend staff abusing the system.

This portfolio needs an urgent change of minister.