A lot more than khat and black shoes.
Cover image via
Earlier today, 2 January, Dr Maszlee Malik announced that he is resigning from his position as Minister of Education effective 3 January
Dr Maszlee’s shocking announcement at a special press conference in Putrajaya was followed by media reports about him tendering his resignation over controversies such as Khat among others.
While his time as the Education Minister was marred by excessively negative press, there is a long list of policies Dr Maszlee implemented that shows the Minister was, in fact, doing a good job.
Here’s an overview of the initiatives he enforced during his time:
1. He introduced free breakfast program at schools
The initiative, ‘Program Sarapan Percuma’, to be carried out in national schools and government-aided schools this year, will ensure that all students, especially the poor, wouldn’t go hungry while learning.
It is expected to benefit 2.7 million students across the country.
Image for illustration purposes only.
Image via Malaysia 3C
2. He abolished examinations for Form students in Year One to Three
The policy, which was implemented in 2019, ensured that schools adopted a “learning-centred” approach instead of an “exam-oriented” one so that the emphasis is on the students’ character development.
3. He implemented a streamless school system
The initiative, which has come into effect this year, meant that Form Four students won’t need to choose between Science and Art streams, thus giving them more flexibility in picking subjects.
4. He empowered disabled people with his OKU Inclusion Policy
Dr Maszlee announced that all public universities are required to implement the Disabled Person (OKU) Inclusion Policy and establish an OKU Services Unit for the 2019/2020 students intake.
The policy will ensure that there is no longer a separation of OKU students from other students.
Since the implementation of the OCU Inclusion Policy, 466 students with disabilities were offered places of study at public universities for the 2019/2020 intake out of 547 applicants.
5. Implemented policies to allow teachers to focus on teaching instead of having to deal with clerical workloads
Under Dr Maszlee, the Education Ministry engaged in several initiatives to help ease the burden of teachers such as increasing resources in schools, reducing paperwork, etc.
According to Bernama, among the transformations were facilitating the management of file and documentation, data management and online systems, giving teachers the freedom to devise the implementation of Literacy and Numeracy (Linus) appropriate to the needs of students.
He also approved the transfer of 15,565 teachers who were previously unhappy.
6. He introduced Integrated Special Education Programmes (PPKI) to make education more accessible to special needs students (MBK)
The program involving 1,109 classes will benefit 7,600 special needs students.
According to Dr Maszlee, a total of 421 Integrated Special Education Programmes (PPKI) will be implemented this year for special needs students (MBK).
“The extension (of the programmes), which involves an allocation of RM54 million, is to provide facilities for special needs children to give them better access to education.”
7. He brought in a policy allowing all stateless and undocumented children in the country to be able to go to school
Under him, the Education Ministry simplified the registration process for children without citizenship into government schools, thus allowing many children to get their wish to finally go to school.
A total of 427 stateless and undocumented children were allowed to go to school in 2019.
In addition to the above policies in 2019, the Education Ministry under Dr Maszlee carried out 53 initiatives which ensured:
– 452 schools out of 534 dilapidated schools are now safe and operational,
– 1,216 dilapidated science labs were repaired,
– Students did better in reading, mathematics and science in the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) 2018 assessment compared to 2012,
– 120 local universities were listed in the QS-World Universities Ranking (WUR) 2020 and 29 public and private higher learning institutions were listed in QS Asia 2020,
– Increased access for nearly 5,000 students from low- income communities in fully-sponsored state boarding schools.
Now with his resignation, what do you think will be Dr Maszlee’s legacy? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page here.
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