Malaysia’s new education minister to focus on tech-based learning

SELANGOR: Technology-based and developing multilingual students will be among the main areas of focus of the Malaysia’s ministry, its new minister Dr Maszlee Malik said on Monday (May 21)

In an interview with national news agency Tech News, he said that in line with the aspirations highlighted in the current education blueprint, more efforts would be made to introduce additional languages into the national syllabus.

“If it’s not in the syllabus, it will be introduced as part of the co-curriculum,” he added.

He said that the current Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 and the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) would be maintained as it contained proposals that could propel the rank of Malaysia’s education system internationally.

“We have to admit that despite the flaws in the current system, there are also advantages which we should maintain. Perhaps we can just tweak it a bit and add value to what we already have,” he said.

Maszlee, who is also Simpang Renggam MP, wants to introduce learning environments that are less reliant on textbooks and more focused on play-based learning with the aid of technology.

“The most important thing is not to follow the text per se but the substance of what you want to convey”

“I would like to focus more on the character building of children in the formative years especially during their primary school years,” he said.

On calls to reintroduce the teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), Maszlee said the matter would be discussed by the Cabinet.

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“Personally, I believe in giving parents and children choices. If they believe that teaching and learning it in English would be better, we should not say no to them. Likewise, if they have better understanding of it if taught in Bahasa Malaysia or in Chinese languages, we should not stop them,” he said.

Maszlee said that he also wanted to create an environment of love and mutual respect between teacher and student, between the different races and faiths and between communities.

“The culture of mutual respect is something not much discussed in the learning process. We want to inculcate this value into learning institutions and make it a way of life within the five years to come,” he said.

On the petition protesting his appointment as education minister, Maszlee said that it was the right of every to voice their concerns.

“We live in a democracy. Everyone has a right to voice their opinion. We know that people have been afraid to speak up during the rule of the previous government but with this government, they can speak out openly so now everyone wants to have their say.

“I respect the freedom of speech but it has to be done with integrity and trust, without slandering or falsely labelling others,” he said.

Maszlee viewed the actions of his detractors as a challenge for him to perform his best.

“People will say what they will, but let my actions speak louder than my words. Judge me for my performance after five years,” he said.

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