Educational Policy in Malaysia INTRODUCTION Malaysia is one of the world's fastest growing economic regions, a rapidly growing nation in the heart of South East Asia. Within a span of two decades, it has succeeded in bringing about socioeconomic transformation of the society; from its architecture to its lifestyle, the Malaysian character speaks of a comfortable coexistence of its ethnic, cultural as well as religious diversity that continues to be a part of this country's charm and practical reality.
Malaysia's Vision 2020 steers the nation towards becoming a fully developed and industrialized country, a democratic society that is strong in religious and spiritual values, a society that is liberal and tolerant, scientific and progressive, innovative and forward looking. This goal is reflected in the mission of the Ministry of Education, that is: "To develop a world class quality education system which will realize the full potential of the individual and fulfill the aspiration of the Malaysian nation." Education has provided a solid platform for country's political as well as economic stability with a view to establishing Malaysia as a regional center for academic excellence and turning education into a top quality export commodity. The Malaysian education system has equipped its young people with a level of competence and skills which has put them on par with the top students in some of the world's best universities, and at 93%, Malaysia's literacy rate is one of the highest in the world.
The paper aims at critically examining the educational policy of the Ministry of Education Malaysia, with description of social, governmental and economic environments in which the policy was developed. Effectiveness of the policy will be evaluated and problems related to it will be further highlighted, with comparison to the one of the models from class lecture, i.e. the incremental model of public policy.
NATIONAL PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION (NPE) The foundation for the development of the national education system rests on the National Philosophy of Education, which states that: Education in Malaysia is an on-going effort towards further developing the potential of individuals in a holistic and integrated manner, so as to produce individuals who are intellectually, spiritually, emotionally and physically balanced and harmonious, based on a firm belief in and devotion to God. Malaysia being a multi-relligious country, spiritual, religious and moral characteristics of the individuals are highly emphasized and encouraged, which is clear from the national philosophy as well. Such an effort is designed to produce Malaysian citizens who are knowledgeable and competent, who possess high moral standards, and who are responsible and capable of achieving high level of personal well-being as well as able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society and the nation at large.
One of the most significant reforms initiated in recent years is the formulation of new legislation on education, which will affect the process of educational reforms from pre-school to higher education. The Education Act 1996 replacing the old one of 1961 aims at consolidating the national system of education and widen the scope of education in the country. All categories of schools, with the exception of international ones will be incorporated under the national system of education, which is characterized by the use of a common medium of instruction, a nationally excepted curriculum and common public exams. It will also cover such areas as upgrading and enhancing of pre-school education, teacher education, special education, private and technical education. It gives the education greater prominence, ensuring relevance and quality in the system of education.
EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION The Ministry of Education is directly responsible for the organization, management and development of the education in the country and has a centralized...
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