KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim wants the leadership of institutions of higher learning (IPT) to be given the space and relaxation to spur new ideas in the country’s education.
The Prime Minister said the move was important to ensure IPTs in the country are capable of competing at regional and global level and thus producing graduates who are disciplined and of high quality.
“The Higher Education Ministry only needs to coordinate the programmes to prevent overlapping or arising problems but giving more space to universities, will see more better programmes if we do not change the leadership (IPT),” he said.
He was speaking at the Higher Education Ministry Strategic Discourse at Kuala Lumpur World Trade Centre which was also attended by Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir today.
Based on his experience as a teaching staff including as a visiting fellow at several universities, Anwar saw that the western education system has its weaknesses even though it has its advantages in several aspects including higher learning discipline.
High discipline and serious efforts to gain knowledge, said the Prime Minister, are necessary for students in this country to be more competitive, for example in terms of developing more quality and useful studies.
“I don’t think we can compete in the world of education, against China, Taiwan, Finland and other countries if students don’t have high discipline,” he said.
Touching on the issue of language, Anwar said that although the use of Malay is prioritised in teaching and learning, IPTs should also look at the importance of improving the quality of English proficiency among students from now.
Taking the example of Indonesia and Thailand, he said that although both countries are seen as serious in prioritising the use of their respective mother tongues, the proficiency in English among their youth at local universities is much better than in Malaysia.
“So let’s not be like scream on the question of language, or being phobic when we mention mastering of the Malay language, there are also some elite groups who are phobic when we mention this,” he said. — Bernama