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Education Acts and Reports Essay

Integration of the various racial and ethnic groups, the central aim of the 1 Malaysia concept, had always been the primary concern of the governments’ education policy since Independence in 1957. In fact the Razak education report of 1956 and the Rahman Talib report of 1960 had delineated clear guidelines and emphasise national integration. Compare and contrast out the aims and provision of Barnes Report (1950), Fenn-Wu Report (1951), the Razak Report (1956) and the Rahman Talib Report (1960).

After World War Two, the education system in Malaya was pretty much in shambles, and until Malaya achieved her independence in 1957, much had to be done to map out a new education system for the nation. Efforts began with the introduction of a new, national education system with English as the one and only medium of instruction, but eventually, an education system was formed in which Malay became the main medium of instruction.

In 1949, a Central Advisory Committee on Education was set up to aid the government in deciding on the best form of education system, which could be implemented in Malaya, to be the catalyst in fostering national unity. In 1950, the Barnes Committee came out with the Barnes Report, which proposed that all primary vernacular schools maintain one single standard and become national schools using the same syllabus but bilingual languages, which were Malay and English. Secondary schools, however, had to maintain English as their mode of instruction.

One year later in 1951, there was the Fenn-Wu Report, which whole-heartedly supported the formation of a national education system, but felt that the Chinese-medium schools should be maintained. Their argument was that the country could still achieve unity although there was diversity in the medium of instruction. It was only in 1952 that the Education Ordinance was passed, based on the Barnes Report. This did not garner good response from the Chinese and Indians, who protested the abolition of their mother tongues as one of the mediums of instruction.

Due to the failing economy and shortage of trained teachers for the national schools, however, the Education Ordinance of 1952 was not fully implemented. Three years later in 1955, another committee was formed, this time chaired by Dato’ Abdul Razak Hussein and it was given the task of reviewing the education system of Malaya. The committee received 151 memorandums from individuals, public bodies and associations. After much deliberation, the Razak Committee proposed, one year later, the following:

• The education system should comprise two types of primary school – standard primary schools that use Malay as their medium of instruction, and standard-type primary schools that use either Kuo-Yu or Tamil or English as the medium of instruction. Both these schools, however, would rely on a common syllabus. • Both types of primary school should enforce Malay as a compulsory subject. • All National Secondary Schools should use a common syllabus and examination and enforce Malay and English as their compulsory subjects.

• All teachers, regardless of which school they would eventually teach at, should be trained with a common syllabus in teachers’ training colleges. In 1960, the Rahman Talib review committee was commissioned to study the Razak Report, with the aim of strengthening its implementation and emphasizing the use of Malay as the medium of instruction. The Rahman Talib Report became the basis for the Education Act 1961, which was subsequently passed by the Parliament. Three main components were maintained: i.

A common schooling system for all races; ii. The national language as the main medium of instruction for all level of schooling; and iii. A common national-based school curriculum and examination. The 1996 Education Act was formulated as a continuation modernisation of the 1961 Education Act. Describe the main provision of the 1996 Education Act and their application in the education system and in the schools. The Razak Report can be regarded as the foundation for the development of the National Education System used.

The main issues in the National Education were: i) The desire to form one National Education System for all races; ii) To make the Malay language the main medium of instruction; iii) To establish a curriculum orientated towards the local environment through the formulation of a common education syllabus with similar contents; and iv) Strengthen the National Education System for all students in it. The development of the formation of the Education Act was continued in order to resolve several requests voiced by the different races in Malaysia and to improve on suggestions recommended in the Razak Report.

This was known as the Rahman Talib Report (1960) and it became the basis for the formation of the 1961 Education Act. Amongst the changes and amendments made to the Razak Report were: primary education was free; primary schools became national schools and national-type schools; advanced education was extended to 15 years of age; students advanced to the next standard automatically; Islamic studies for students when there were not less than 15 students; and Moral education was given due attention.

After the 1960 Abdul Rahman Talib Report, there come more reports for example the Hussien Onn Report (1971) and 1979 Mahathir Report. Both these Reports were done to re-examine the Country’s Education Policy which was based on the Razak and Rahman Talib Reports. The 1996 Education Act was formulated as a continuation and modernization of the 1961 Education Act.

The aim of the 1996 Education Act was towards strengthening the National Education System for the next generation in line with the needs and aspirations of the country to make Malaysia an international centre for educational excellence.

Even though the Education Act 1996 was a new legislation, it reflected a continuity of the wishes and policies of the existing education system. It was formed along the main recommendations of the Razak Report, 1956 which was the basis of the National Education Policy till then. The new Act also continued some of the relevant suggestions from the Education Act 1961. The objective for drafting the laws (Education Act 1996) was to widen the scope and introduce legislation on education.

Clause 152 of the Malaysian Constitution has positioned the Malay Language as the National Language to ensure unity of its population. The National Education Philosophy was made a basis of the National Education Act formulated after taking into account the views and aspirations of all sectors. The aim of the Education system in Malaysia was formulated based on the objective found in the National Ideology, National Education Policy and New Economic Policy (NEP).

Among the objectives of the Education System in Malaysia are: i) Production of quality education; ii) Production of educated and skilled students; iii) Production of unified community; iv) Social community development; v) Production of quality workforce; vi) Economic production, especially in rural areas; vii) Formation of responsible and commited citizens in a democratic country; viii) Restructuring of socio-economic structure of the population as stated in the New Economic Policy (NEP); and ix) Eradication of poverty.

By the Education Act, the concept of the National Education System was improved with the inclusion of all levels of schooling from pre-school to higher education, covering all school categories which is government, government-assisted and public schools. The position of National Language was enhanced with its allocation as the main medium of instruction in the National Education System. This was further strengthened when the language was made a compulsory subject at all schools and educational institutions. The Clauses 152 of the Malaysian Constitution had positioned the Malay Language as a National Language to ensure racial unity.

The position of the Malay Language became even more secured when the National Language Act was passed in 1967. Beginning 1970, the medium of instruction in English primary schools were changed to the National Language in stages. Several measures were taken to develop the Malay Language including the establishment of the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) in 1956, the launch of “Language Week” and “ Language Month” to encourage the use of the Malay Language and the launce of the “Bahasa Jiwa Bangsa” slogan in 1960.

Other methods included the establishment of secondary schools which used the Malay Language as a medium of instruction, for example in Alam Shah School, Sri Puteri School and Sultan Abdul Halim School. The curriculum for all types and categories of schools were coordinated in line with the country’s need, when the usage of the National Curriculum allocated in the Education Act 1996 became compulsory for all.

Students from all types and categories of schools were prepared to sit for examination conducted by the Government and as a result, it simplified the usage of a common evaluation or appraisal method on the achievement of students from schools in the country. Religious Studies were extended to include Muslim students from all categories of schools including public schools and strengthened by making the subject one of the core subjects in schools.

With the existence of allocation that allowing the Minister of Education to establish and manage kindergarten, the less fortunate from the rural areas were given a chance to get pre-school education which is considered a good basis when starting primary education. The quality of education programmes at all kindergartens could be improved as it is compulsory for all these kindergarten to use the Pre-school Curriculum Guidelines produced by the Education Ministry.

In line with the efforts to culturalize the education of science and technology, technical education were improved in secondary technical schools and polytechnic institutions. The Education Act 1996, made it easier for the status of vocational schools to be upgraded to that of technical schools, while polytechnic institutions can conduct co-operative programmes with any institutions, agencies or industrial organizations to manage technical or vocational courses or training programmes, including exchange programmes.

Polytechnic institutions are allowed to conduct twinning programmes for diploma and degree courses with Higher Education Institutions either locally or internationally. Teachers’ training was strengthened with the allocation that allowed the Ministry of Education to organize Teachers’ Education Programmes at certificate, diploma and degree levels in pairs. Private education was developed in a more systematic manner with specific allocations.

Attention was also given to vocational education for this particular group of students. However, intensive vocational training, for example for blind students was given after they left school. The most important component in the special mixed education was the resource teachers who were responsible not only for teaching handicapped students but also assisting the normal teachers, build and prepare teaching and learning materials as well as provide counseling service for the students.

Realising that Malaysia is a multi-racial country, and based on political discussions conducted by previous leaders, the Education Act 1996 took into consideration the rights of all races by maintaining the status quo of national type of primary schools and 60 private Chinese schools. Apart from that, the United Examination carried out by these schools as well as the conforming schools and mission schools, the Board of Supervisor was also maintained. The Education Act 1996 also allocated for the teaching of languages or natives living in the country if it is deemed acceptable and practical.

Religious classes like bible classes do not have to be registered under the 1996 Education Act. The Malaysia Qualification Agency (MQA) was established on the 1st of November 2007 with the enactment of the Malaysia Qualification Agency Act (Act 679). As a result MQA takes on the role of LAN as well as playing a more comprehensive role as stated in the Act. What are the main features of the Malaysia Qualification Agency? In what ways is the Agency playing a bigger role than the defunct National Accreditation Board (LAN)? Please refer to the MQA website for more information http://www. mqa. gov. my.

The National Accreditation Board or Lembaga Akreditasi Negara (LAN) was established in 1996 under the Parliament Act and was the national quality assurance agency for private higher educational institutions. Meanwhile, the quality assurance divisions under the Ministry of Higher Education supervised the quality of public universities, polytechnics and public community colleges. On 1st of November 2007, a new agency Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) was established under a new education legislation the Malaysian Qualification Act 2007. This new Malaysian Qualification Agency replace the following agency: *

Lembaga Akreditasi Negara (established under Act 556), for private higher educational institutions * The Quality Assurance Division of MOHE, for public universities * The Quality Assurance Division of MOHE, for polytechnics & community colleges MQA comes under the responsibility of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). MQA acted as a national body to implement the national framework known as the Malaysian Qualifications Framework (MQF), to accredit higher educational qualifications, to regulate the quality of higher education providers, to establish and maintain the Malaysian Qualification Register.

The establishment of a new entity which merges National Accreditation Board (LAN) and the Quality Assurance Division, Ministry of Higher Education (QAD) was approved by the Government on 21st December 2005. This entity is responsible for quality assurance of higher education for both the public and the private sectors. The main role of the MQA is to implement the Malaysian Qualification Framework (MQF) as a basis for quality assurance of higher education and as the reference point for the criteria and standards for national qualifications.

The MQA is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the quality assurance practices and accreditation of national higher education. With the vision to be a credible and internationally recognized higher education quality assurance body and the mission to inspire the confidence of its stakeholders through best practices, the MQA is set to chart new boundaries in higher education quality assurance. The MQA Act is designed to promote the dynamic growth of higher education and the portability of Malaysian qualifications.

It should inspire the confidence of parents, students, employers, both local and international in the standards of qualifications and quality of their delivery. The MQA Act 2007 comprises the following 16 parts: Part I: Preliminary definitions Part II: Malaysian Qualification Agency Part III: Malaysian Qualification Council Part IV: Provisions Relating to Employees Part V: Financial Provisions Part VI: Malaysian Qualification Framework Part VII: Provisional Accreditation Part VIII: Evaluation of other Qualifications Part X: Institutional Audit

Part XI: National Qualification Register Part XII: Appeals Part XIII: Enforcement and Investigation Part XIV: Offences and Penalties Part XV: Miscellaneous Part XVI: Repeal, Savings and Transitional The 16 parts of MQA Act include the provision for: * The establishment of MQA as the agency with overarching responsibility for assuring the quality of all post secondary programmes and qualifications provided by higher education providers in the country. * The establishment of the Malaysian Qualification Framework (MQF).

* Provisional accreditation as the initial process towards accreditation. * Accreditation that takes into consideration the diversity of higher education in Malaysia : local program under MQF, foreign programmes including collaborative arrangements, distance and e-learning, professional programmes and skill qualifications. * Registration of qualifications from self-accrediting institutions. * Recognition of prior learning and experience and credit transfers. * The Malaysian Qualifications Register (MQR) as the national reference point for all qualification that have been accredited.

As a quality assurance body, the functions of MQA are: * To implement MQF as a reference point for Malaysian qualification. * To develop standards and criteria and all other relevant instruments as national references for the conferment of awards with the cooperation of stakeholders. * To quality assure higher education institutions and programmes. * To accredits courses that fulfill the set criteria and standards. * To facilitate the recognition and articulation of qualifications. * To maintain the Malaysian Qualification Register (MQR).

The establishment of the MQA and the implementation of the MQF will benefit national higher education and the development of human capital. In the Quality Assurance System, MQA has developed a code of practice on criteria and standards for higher education in Malaysia. This code of practice is benchmarked against international good practices and nationally accepted by stakeholders through various consultations. The code provides a guideline of general requirements in the following areas: * Vision, mission and learning outcomes.

* Curriculum design and delivery. * Student selection and support services. * Assessment of students * Academic staff * Educational resources * Program monitoring and review. * Leadership, governance and administration. * Continuous quality improvement. In general, MQA quality assures programmes through two distinct processes: * Provisional Accreditation – this is initial process which will help higher education providers to achieve the accreditation by enhancing the standard and quality set in the provisional accreditation evaluation.

* Accreditation – this is a formal recognition that the certificates, diplomas or degrees awarded by higher education institutions are in accordance with the set standards. The MQA Act 2007 also provides for the conferment of a self accrediting status to mature higher education institutions that have well established internal quality assurance mechanisms. To be so conferred, the higher education institution needs to undergo an institutional audit, and if successful, all qualifications it offers will be automatically registered in the MQR.

The processes above are further supported by continuous monitoring to ensure the programmes offered by the institution are always quality assured. Further, nine criteria have been benchmarked as international best practice, which forms the basis of the accreditation assessment. Accreditation will be the highest status in quality assessment done by MQA. It will be the guarantee given by MQA to all stakeholders of higher education which include students, parents, employers, etc. that programmes accredited by MQA are quality programmes.

Once the courses of study are accredited, the accreditation status will remain for as long as the institution can meet the framework requirements and QA standard and criteria as well as institutional mission under the MQA’s Institutional Audit. RUJUKAN Akta Pendidikan 1961. (1984). International Law Book Service. Kuala Lumpur Akta Pendidikan 1996. (1998). International Law Book Service. Kuala Lumpur Federation of Malaya. (1951). Report of the Committee on Malay Education. Kuala Lumpur: Government Press. Tie Fatt Hee (2000). Undang-undang Pendidikan di Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Fajar Bakti.


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