The Pakatan Harapan cabinet got two more cabinet members on Thursday with the posts of Education and Women’s Affairs Minister named.
Educators must be licking their lips in anticipation of a radical revamp in the education system when Prime Minster Tun Dr Mahathir exercised prime ministerial prerogative and named himself Education Minister. At the same news conference on Thursday afternoon, the PM also announced the appointment of Datuk Seri Wan Azizah as Women’s Affairs Minister.
At last perhaps, we will get an overhaul of a system that has failed to perform, unable to produce employable graduates and generally failed to fully educate a precious asset
This move to shake up the nation’s school room has been long in coming.
At last perhaps, we will get an overhaul of a system that has failed to perform, unable to produce employable graduates and generally failed to fully educate a precious asset.
Perhaps, more sinisterly; the system could be pinned down as having laid the seedbed that spawned so much of what ills the political and governance system until Malaysians said enough was enough; by expressing their anger at the GE14 ballot box.
Some educators were driven to total despair when what was once an already bloated cabinet became swollen with the creation of two education ministries – one to oversee primary and secondary education and a separate one for tertiary and higher education.
At some point, a blueprint and masterplan was produced – no doubt at horrendous cost to chart the way forward for the way forward to our education system. This raised even more hackles as the programme was greeted by jeers from the side lines; with critics tearing their hair at the need to produce a blueprint when the train had already left the station.
Trips overseas by ministers produced glowing reports about our education system miraculously showered with accolades, awards or recognition of some form or other – mostly of the administrative kind. All this while other less profligate nations run away with prizes given by august bodies for high academic standing and reputation.
Back at home, our school leavers complete 12 years of education struggling to string sentences together, express opinion, argue positions or generally struggle to communicate.
Over at the ministry, the ministry administration was all form over function.
A particular minister got so carried away that his tenure earned him the dubious distinction for the invention of the `Hitler Eagle Salute’ – a particularly infantile hand gesture performed at the start of ministry meetings.
The minister would prompt the session with a cry of `Soaring’; and his underlings would have to respond with the chant of `Upwards’; at the same time drawing their right hand drawn towards their chests.
Uncharitable critics gossip behind their minister’s back, scratching their heads for a justification. Some simply blame him for missing out on a fulfilling stint at kindergarten.
Already, Tun M has already voiced his view that Malaysians should read more. Taking care of the first of the three `Rs’ would go a long way to education redemption for future generations of Malaysians.
We cannot wait for Tun M to return for his first day at school.