It goes without saying that education is an essential part of anyone’s personal development, but it is also a major contributor to the development of a nation’s social and economic capital. It inspires creativity and fosters innovation; provides our youth with the necessary skills to be able to compete in the modern labour market; and is a key driver of growth in the economy. And as this Government puts in place measures under the New Economic Model, ETP and GTP, we must ensure that our education system continues to progress in tandem.
Thanks to the thousands of dedicated teachers, principals, administrators, and officers and staff at the Ministry of Education, our education system has been the bedrock of our development.
But in order to meet our high aspirations amidst an increasingly competitive global environment, we cannot stand still. Our country requires a transformation of its entire education system, lifting achievement for all students. Rather than simply adding staff and facilities, there is now a need to understand and improve the dynamics of the teaching and learning process.
That’s why today we have launched the Education Blueprint. This blueprint provides a comprehensive plan for a rapid and sustainable transformation of our education system through to 2025. From how we approach student learning, the way we recruit, train and reward our teachers and principals right through to how the Ministry of Education itself operates, it lays out a process for that change.
These targets are ambitious, but entirely achievable. They include: ensuring universal enrolment from pre-school to upper secondary education in 10 years; halving the achievement gaps between the rich and the poor, urban and rural, and between the states that form Malaysia in 8 years; rising from the bottom-third to the top-third of countries in international assessments like PISA and TIMSS in 15 years; and building an education system that gives children an appreciation for our unique identity as Malaysians. Every effort must be directed towards improving student outcomes.
Transforming the education system will not be easy and we are likely to encounter a number of challenges along the way. But despite this, rest assured that not only are the Government and Ministry of Education committed to delivering on these goals, I am also personally committed. From individual parents to members of the local community to the private sector, we all have a role to play and a personal stake in improving our education system.
So God willing, let us take this exciting, challenging and – most importantly – necessary journey together, as one nation.