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Dear education reformers, this is what we want…

The above front page headline of the 24 March 2019 edition of the New Sunday Times certainly attracted a lot of attention, especially with the names and faces of all 13 members of the National Education Policy Review Committee (NEPRC) on full display. The committee, which was formed back in October 2018, is scheduled to present their final report to the Minister of Education by the end of April 2019.

The NEPRC was given the following mandates:

  • Propose innovative ideas in restructuring the national education system to build a holistic society
  • Review national education policies and approaches to teaching and learning, and suggest improvements
  • Provide recommendations towards making the public education system the first choice for citizens, from preschool to university, as well as revive the reputation of local public institutions of tertiary learning
  • Stimulate all relevant stakeholders to ensure systemic changes which impact all segments of society
  • Recommend appropriate benchmarks to be set within the national education system

In the New Sunday Times, educationist Professor Datuk Dr Noraini Idris suggested a need to improve early education. She cited preschools in Japan as not only focusing on academics but also on character building: “they learn how to cooperate with each other… which instils the spirit of togetherness”.

She also alluded to the high barrier to entry of the teaching profession in Finland: “We need people who understand the right teaching techniques”, as well as the need for learner engagement: “Besides the academics, they are taught to communicate and present their work, so they become braver and are interested to learn”.

Professor Datuk Dr Teo Kok Seong, Principal Fellow at the National University of Malaysia’s Institute of Ethnic Studies, indicated that it is the implementation of policies which should be improved: “the country’s two [education] blueprints were endorsed by international educationists following consultations… The discourse on education reforms should focus on effective execution”.

We at RITE Education certainly agree with these points which were highlighted by the esteemed contributors, and we look forward to the NEPRC report next month!

RITE Education is passionate about delivering personalised, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to 21st century challenges in education. Our projects thus far have spanned 7 countries and impacted tens of thousands of educators and learners, with validated impact on teaching and learning outcomes.

We work primarily with government agencies, foundations and groups of institutions to deliver research-based solutions which reflect international best practices and local realities. Innovative approaches which embed global education trends are coupled with transformative practices driven through capacity building.

To find out more about our innovative Thinking Skills Curriculum, ThinkWise, or if you would like to discuss any of the issues touched on above, please write to me at nigel@rite.education!

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