I believe that the quality of one's education is the key factor in one's ability to reach for the sky. That seems obvious enough, once written down on paper. Of course, other factors come into play as well, but it is the quality of the schooling we receive that determines, to a large extent, the kind of opportunities we receive later in life. Thus, in writing this, I should make it clear that while I have done a fair amount of research on the subject of education in Malaysia (through my own personal initiatives and when I was working a Malaysian education magazine), my experience with the local schools system is limited. Somehow, I ended up doing things in a very roundabout way, and the ideas I will postulate here is largely based on that experience. It is by no means perfect, merely a very personal opinion aimed to spark something more, and to somehow improve upon a very public issue.
Generally speaking, there's plenty that can be improved within the Malaysian primary and secondary education system. Within a single sentence, its objective is to produce people who are capable, well-rounded, multi-cultural, confident, and able to make a significant difference in Malaysia (and beyond). Someone who is, first and foremost, a Malaysian, rather than a Malay, Chinese, Indian or Other. Of course, these are still vague notions, to be honest (How capable? And in what way?). It does, however, provide something to aim for in this particular post.
Let's go one step further than that, though. Let's imagine for the moment that I am the Education Minister of Malaysia, and have the power to set the tone for the schools in Malaysia. What would I do? I aim to change a couple of things, and make sure that there's a little bit more room for people to negotiate with. To that end, there are two main things I would do.
*An excerpt from an opinion piece I wrote for the Education in Malaysia blog. You can read the full post here.