GEOGRAPHICAL BACKGROUND OF MALAYSIA
Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia. There are two distinct parts to this country
being peninsular Malaysia to the west and east Malaysia to the east.
Peninsular Malaysia is located south of Thailand, north of Singapore and east of
the Indonesian island of Sumatra. East Malaysia is located on the island
of Borneo and shares borders with Brunei and Indonesia.
LAND AREA AND ITS POPULATION
The total land area of the country is 329,750 squared kilometers and the total
population of the country is 29,745,856.
The official language of the country is Bahasa Malaysia. The other languages are
English, Chinese ( Cantonese, mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow)
Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai and in east Malaysia there are several
indigenous languages; most widely spoken are Iban and Kadazan.
TYPE OF GOVERNMENT
The type of government in Malaysia is constitutional monarchy. It is headed by a
ruler which is commonly referred to as the King. All the peninsular Malaysian
states have hereditary rulers commonly referred to as sultans. And the other two
states in Malaysia have governors appointed by the government.
Islam is the dominant religion in Malaysia. And it is recognized as the state
religion of the country.
Chinese religion- 2.6%
Other religion- 1.5%
No religion- 0.8
The Malaysia’s official currency is the Malaysian Ringgit. In symbol, RM. 1 ringgit
is equivalent to 13.64 pesos in the Philippines.
TOURIST SPOTS IN MALAYSIA
Mount Kinabalu—it is the highest mountain in Malaysia. It is located in sabah.
The mountain is known worldwide for its tremendous botanical and biological
species biodiversity. Over 600 species of ferns, 326 species of birds, and 100
mammalian species have been identified at Mount Kinabalu and its surrounding.
The main peak of the mountain can be climbed easily by a person with a good
physical condition, and requires no mountaineering equipment although climbers
must be accompanied by guides at all times.
Pulau Tioman-- Tioman is a small island located off the east coast of peninsular
Malaysia. Tourists have surged to the island ever since, seeking a taste of
paradises. The island is surrounded by numerous white coral reefs, making it a
haven for scuba divers while the interior is densely forested.
Mulu Caves—located at East malyasia and it is considered as the largest caves
in the world. It forms a major tourist attraction.
Petronas Twin Towers-- The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur were the
world’s tallest buildings before being surpassed in 2004 by Taipei 101. However,
the towers are still the tallest twin buildings in the world. The 88-floor towers are
constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade
designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia’s
Muslim religion. The Petronas Twin Towers feature a sky bridge between the two
towers on the 41st and 42nd floors.
Batu Caves-- Being on top of the hill is 15 km from the northern part of Kuala
Lumpur, is an attraction for the tourists who are very famous in Selangor. Batu
Caves consists of three big caves, including cave contained a major Hindu
temple is decorated with delicate carvings. One interesting experience at Batu
Caves is to climb 272 steps leading to the main cave.
Legoland-- is a theme park that has opened in Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia on
September 15, 2012 with over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions. It is
the firstLegoland theme park in Asia upon its establishment. The official opening
of Legoland Malaysia was made by Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, Sultan of Johor on
September 22, 2012. It is the centrepiece of a 5,500,000 sq ft (510,000 m2)
integrated complex in the Nusa Cemerlang industrial park, within the Iskandar
Malaysia economic region, consisting of a lifestyle retail centre, offices, hotels,
service apartments and residential units.
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM OF MALAYSIA
1. EARLY EDUCATION
Prior to British colonization, education was informal and limited to acquiring skills
vital for survival, like fishing and farming for boys, and cookery and weaving for girls. If a
student wanted to go any further, he would devote his time as an apprentice, live with a
guru and learn various skills from the latter.
A more advanced type of education during that period came in the form of the
pondok or hut schools and education there was based on Islamic studies. Students
would study the Quran under the tutelage of a Haji or Khatib, in a hut set up by the
scholar, either at his home, a surau or mosque.
2. EDUCATION DURING BRITISH COLONIZATION
2.1 British Policy On Education
During the British occupation of Malaya, there was no clear policy on education.
The British were contented to let the various types of schools, which were already in
existence, carry on with their activities. In following through with their divide and rule
policy, the British did not intend to establish rapport between the different races in
Malaya through a standardized education system.
2.2 Vernacular Schools
Hence, the various vernacular schools those were present and catered to only a
particular ethnic group were run by missionaries, rubber and coffee plantation owners,
and local residents' association. The British felt that it was enough for each ethnic group
to be educated in their own language and learn to accept their roles in life. That meant
that the British were to govern, the Malays to cultivate the fields, the Chinese were to
run the mining industry and Businesses, while the Indians would be confined to
plantations and estates.
There were four types of school during British colonization. They were the
Englishmedium, Malay-medium, Chinese-medium and Tamil-medium schools. Each
used different mediums of instruction and provided a different syllabus.
3. EDUCATION DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR
During the Japanese occupation of Malaya in the Second World War, education
was used as a tool for propaganda to inculcate love and loyalty for the Japanese
emperor. The English and Mandarin languages were banned in schools. Many pondok
schools and Chinese vernacular schools in Johor were closed down. At the same time,
several Malay schools in Kedah and Chinese vernacular schools in Sarawak were
reopened by the Japanese and used to spread propaganda. In fact, almost all
secondary schools in Kedah were used as army operation centres by the Japanese.
Many school hostels were used to hold Malayan citizens detained by the Japanese
The Japanese language, Nippon-Go, became the official medium of instruction
for all subjects in schools, be they Malay, Chinese or Tamil schools. The language was
also taught by teachers, who in turn had to attend Japanese language courses
conducted by Japanese officials once a week.
It was compulsory for students to sing the Japanese national song each morning
before classes began to demonstrate their love for the Japanese emperor.
4. EDUCATION AFTER WORLD WAR TWO
4.1 Towards A National Education System
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.
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.
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
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 Chinesemedium 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
The committee received 151 memorandums from individuals, public bodies and
Associations. After much deliberation, the Razak Committee proposed, one year later,
• 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
betrained 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 theEducation Act 1961, which was subsequently passed by the Parliament.
4.2 Implementation of the National Education System
After the Education Act was passed and implementation of the National
Education System began, it was evident that teachers needed to be trained to teach
Malay, which had become the national language of Malaya. Hence, teachers' training
colleges began mushrooming throughout the country. One of them was the Language
Institute, which was temporarily located in Johor in 1958 and eventually moved to Kuala
Lumpur one year later. Day Training Colleges also began to take form in the country
from 1957 onwards, to meet the needs of primary schools with various mediums of
instruction. Textbooks that were used in standard-type primary schools were similar to
the syllabus of those used in Standard Primary Schools. Subjects in school comprised
history, culture and geography of Malaya. Gone were the days when students of a
particular ethnic group studied subjects pertaining to their motherland.
In 1956, the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka was established and given the task of
providing school textbooks in Malay. It also functioned to develop the language further
by publishing books and dictionaries, coming out with scientific terms and producing
translated materials from other language versions.
The Progress Of The Implementation Of Malay As The Medium Of Instruction
From 1957 To 1983
1957 Malay language was made compulsory in all government-aided primary and
1958 Introduction of Malay-medium classes attached to selected English medium
1963 Establishment of the first Malay-medium fully-residential secondary school,
Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Alam Shah
1968 First batch of Malay-medium students graduated from the University of Malaya
1968 Malay-medium classes introduced at secondary vocational schools
1968 Conversion from English to Malay as the medium of instruction for Standard 1 to
III in national-type (English) primary schools
1973 All subjects in the Arts stream, from Form 1, in national-type secondary schools
were taught in Malay
1975 The conversion programme from English to Malay as the medium of instruction in
all national-type (English) schools was completed
1980 University first-year Arts courses were conducted in Malay
1982 Conversion program from English to Malay as the medium of instruction in
national-type (English) secondary schools was completed
1983 All university courses in arts, science, engineering, medicine and etc, were
conducted in Malay
(Source: Malaysian Development Experience, Changes & Challenges, INTAN, Kuala
With the National Education System, the government used education as a tool to
build the nation and foster unity through a common syllabus and curriculum. This could
be further achieved with a single national language as the main medium of instruction in
schools and university, and by providing teachers with a standardized form of training in
teachers' training colleges.
In 1989, the National Philosophy of Education was released and is as follows:
"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. 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 being able to contribute to the harmony and betterment of the family, the society
and the nation at large."
Educational System Of Malaysia (at present )
Education in Malaysia is overseen by two government ministries. The Ministry
of Education (Kementerian Pelajaran) handles matters pertaining to pre-school, primary
school, secondary school and post-secondary school. Matters regarding tertiary
education are dealt with by the Ministry of Higher Education (Kementerian Pengajian
Tinggi). Although education is the responsibility of the federal government,
each state has an Education Department to coordinate educational matters in its
territory. The main legislation governing education is the Education Act of 1996.
Education may be obtained from the multilingual public school systems, which provide
free education for all Malaysians, or private schools, or through homeschooling. By
law, primary education is compulsory. As in many Asia-Pacific countries such as the
Republic of Korea, Singapore and Japan, standardized tests are a common feature.
Currently, there are 37 private universities, 20 private university colleges, 7 foreign
university branch campuses and 414 private colleges in Malaysia.
The school year is divided into two semesters. The first begins in the beginning of
January and ends in June; the second begins in July and ends in December.
18-19 (Available in some schools)
education (College or University)
Ages vary(usually four years,referred to as Freshman,
Sophomore, Junior and Senior years)
Types of Schools
Chinese National Schools
Tamil National Schools
NCOPS/NCOSS Private Schools
Chinese Independence School(For Secondary)
Canadian/British International Schools
USA International Schools
There are no fixed rules on when a child needs to start preschool education but majority
would start when the child turns 5 years old. Schooling can begin earlier, from 3-6,
in kindergarten. Preschool education usually lasts for 2 years, before they proceed to
primary school at age 7. There is no formal preschool curriculum except a formal
mandatory training and certification for principals and teachers before they may operate
a preschool. The training covers lessons on child psychology, teaching methodologies,
and other related curricula on childcare and development.
Preschool education is mainly provided by private for-profit preschools, though some
are run by the government or religious groups. Some primary schools have attached
preschool sections. Attendance in a preschool programmed is not universal; while
people living in urban areas are generally able to send their children to private
kindergartens, few do in rural areas. Registered preschools are subjected to zoning
regulations and must comply with other regulations such as health screening and fire
hazard assessment. Many preschools are located in high density residential areas,
where normal residential units compliant to regulations are converted into the schools.
Primary education in Malaysia begins at age seven and lasts for six years, referred to
as Year (Tahun) 1 to 6 (also known as Standard (Darjah) 1 to 6). Year 1 to Year 3 are
classified as Level One (Tahap Satu) while Year 4 to Year 6 are considered as Level
Two (Tahap Dua). Students are promoted to the next year regardless of their academic
From 1996 until 2000, the Penilaian Tahap Satu (PTS) or the Level One Evaluation was
administered to Year 3 students. Excellence in this test allowed students to skip Year 4
and attend Year 5 instead. However, the test was removed from 2001 onwards due to
concerns that parents and teachers were unduly pressuring students to pass the exam.
Before progressing to secondary education, Year 6 pupils sit for the Primary School
Achievement Test (Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, UPSR). The subjects tested are
Malay comprehension, written Malay, English, Science and Mathematics. In addition to
the five subjects, Chinese comprehension and written Chinese are compulsory in
Chinese schools, while Tamil comprehension and written Tamil are compulsory in Tamil
School types and medium of instruction
Public primary schools are divided into two categories based on the medium of
Malay-medium National Schools (Sekolah Kebangsaan, SK)
Non-Malay-medium National-type Schools (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan, SJK),
also known as "vernacular schools",further divided into
National-type School (Chinese) (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan
SJK(C)), Mandarin-medium and simplified Chinese writing
National-type School (Tamil) (Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil), SJK
All schools admit students regardless of racial and language background.
Malay and English are compulsory subjects in all schools. All schools use the same
syllabus for non-language subjects regardless of the medium of instruction. The
teaching of the Chinese language is compulsory in SJK(C), and Tamil language is
compulsory in SJK (T). Additionally, a National School must provide the teaching of
Chinese or Tamil language, as well as indigenous languages wherever practical, if the
parents of at least 15 pupils in the school request that the particular language to be
In January 2003, a mixed medium of instruction was introduced so that students would
learn Science and Mathematics in English. Due to pressure from the Chinese
community, SJK(C) teaches Science and Mathematics in both English and Chinese.
However, the government reversed the policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in
English in July 2009, and previous languages of instruction will be reintroduced in
stages from 2012.
By degree of government funding, National Schools are government-owned and
operated, while National-type Schools are mostly government-aided, though some are
government-owned. In government-aided National-type Schools, the government is
responsible for funding the school operations, teachers’ training and salary, and setting
the school curriculum, while the school buildings and assets belong to the local ethnic
communities, which elect a board of directors for each school to safeguard the school
properties. Between 1995 and 2000, the Seventh Malaysia Plan allocation for primary
education development allocated 96.5% to National Schools which had 75% of total
enrollment. Chinese National-type Schools (21% enrollment) received 2.4% of the
allocation while Tamil National-type Schools (3.6% enrollment) received 1% of the
allocation.Previously, there were also other types of National-type Schools. The English
National-type Schools were assimilated to become National Schools as a result
of decolonization. Others, such as those for the Punjabi language were closed due to
the dwindling number of students. The role of promoting the Punjabi language and
culture is currently fulfilled by Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) based organizations.
The division of public education at the primary level into National and National-type
Schools has been criticised for allegedly creatingracial polarisation at an early age. To
address the problem, attempts have been made to establish Sekolah Wawasan ("vision
schools"). Under the concept, three schools (typically one SK, one SJK(C) and one
SJK(T)) would share the same school compound and facilities while maintaining
different school administrations, ostensibly to encourage closer interaction. However,
this was met with objections from most of the Chinese and Indian communities as they
believe this will restrict the use of their mother tongue in schools.
Chio Min Secondary School, Kulim, Kedah.
Public secondary education in Malaysia is provided by National Secondary Schools
(Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan, SMK). National Secondary Schools use Malay as the
main medium of instruction. English is a compulsory subject in all schools. Since 2003,
Science and Mathematics had been taught in English; however in 2009 the government
decided to revert to using Malay starting in 2012. As in primary schools, a National
Secondary School must provide teaching of Chinese and Tamil languages, as well as
indigenous languages wherever practical, on request of parents of at least 15 pupils in
as Arabic, Japanese, German or French may be taught at certain schools.
Secondary education lasts for five years, referred to as Form (Tingkatan) 1 to 5. Forms
1 to Form 3 are known as Lower Secondary (Menengah Rendah), while Form 4 and 5
are known as Upper Secondary (Menengah Atas). Most students who had completed
primary education are admitted to Form 1. Students from national-type primary schools
have the additional requirement to obtain a minimum C grade for the Malay subjects in
UPSR, failing which they will have to attend a year-long transition class, commonly
called "Remove" (Kelas/Tingkatan Peralihan), before proceeding to Form 1. As in
primary schools, students are promoted to the next year regardless of their academic
Co-curricular activities are compulsory at the secondary level, where all students must
participate in at least 2 activities for most states, and 3 activities for the Sarawak region.
There are many co-curricular activities offered at the secondary level, varying at each
school and each student is judged based in these areas. Competitions and
performances are regularly organized. Co-curricular activities are often categorized
under the following: Uniformed Groups, Performing Arts, Clubs & Societies, Sports &
Games. Student may also participate in more than 2 co-curricular activities.
At the end of Form 3, the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR, formerly known as Sijil
Pelajaran Rendah (SRP) or Lower Certificate of Education (LCE)) or Lower Secondary
Evaluation is taken by students. Based on PMR results and choice, they will be
streamed into either the Science stream or Arts stream starting in Form 4. The Science
stream is generally more desirable. Students are allowed to shift to the Arts stream from
the Science stream, but rarely vice-versa.
At the end of Form 5, students are required to take the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) or
Malaysian Certificate of Education examination, before graduating from secondary
school. The SPM was based on the old British ‘School Certificate’ examination before it
became General Certificate of Education 'O' Levels examination, which became the
GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). As of 2006, students are given a
GCE 'O' Level grade for their English paper in addition to the normal English SPM
paper. (Previously, this was reported on result slips as a separate result labelled 1119,
which meant students received two grades for their English papers.) This separate
grade is given based on the marks of the essay-writing component of the English paper.
The essay section of the English paper is remarked under the supervision of officials
from the British 'O' Levels examination. Although not part of their final certificates, the
'O' Level grade is included on their results slip.
Subsets of the public secondary schools are known as National-type Secondary
Schools (Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan, SMJK). At Malayan Independence
(1957), it was decided that secondary education would be provided in Malay-medium
National Secondary Schools and English-medium National-type Secondary Schools.
Fee paying, English-medium schools owned and administered by missionaries/religious
bodies were offered government aid provided that they adopted the national curriculum.
Secondary schools using other languages as medium of instruction, most of them
Chinese schools were offered government aid on the condition that they convert into
English-medium schools. In the 1970s, as the government began to abolish Englishmedium education in public schools, all National-type Secondary School were gradually
converted into Malay-medium schools. The term "National-type Secondary School" is
not present in the Education Act of 1996, which blurred the distinction between SMK
and SMJK. However, Chinese educational groups are unwelcoming of the new
development and continue to push for the distinction to be made between the 78
formerly Chinese-medium schools and other secondary schools. The schools continue
to have "SMJK" on the school signboards and boards of directors continue to manage
the school properties, as opposed to schools that are directly managed by the
Other types of government or government-aided secondary schools include Religious
Secondary School (Sekolah Menengah Agama), Technical Schools (Sekolah
Menengah Teknik), Residential Schools and MARA Junior Science College (Maktab
Rendah Sains MARA).
Within the national public school system are a few magnet type/charter public high
schools. Admissions are very selective, reserved for students who demonstrate
outstanding academic achievement and potential at the elementary level,
Year/Standard 1 through 6. These schools are either full-time day or boarding schools
('asrama penuh'). Examples of these schools are Malacca High School, Royal Military
College (Malaysia) and Penang Free School.
Residential schools or Sekolah Berasrama Penuh are also known as Science Schools.
These schools used to cater mainly for Malay elites but have since expanded as
schools for nurturing Malays who are outstanding academically or those displaying
talents in sports and leadership. The schools are modeled after British Boarding School.
After the SPM, students from public secondary school would have a choice of
either studying Form 6 or the matriculation (pre-university). If they are accepted to
continue studying in Form 6, they will also take the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan
Malaysia (which is usually abbreviated as STPM) or Malaysian Higher School
Certificate examination (its British equivalent is the General Certificate of Education 'A'
Levels examination or internationally, the Higher School Certificate). STPM is regulated
by the Malaysian Examinations Council. Although it is generally taken by those desiring
to attend public universities in Malaysia, it is internationally recognised and may also be
for undergraduate courses.
Additionally all students may apply for admission to matriculation. However,
unlike STPM, the matriculation certificate is only valid for universities in Malaysia. This
matriculation is a one or two-year programme run by the Ministry of Education.
Previously, it was a one-year programme, but beginning 2006, 30% of all matriculation
students were offered two-year programmes.
Not all applicants for matriculation are admitted and the selection criteria are not
publicly declared, which has led to speculation that any criteria existing may not be
adhered to. A race-based quota is applied on the admission process, with 90% of the
places being reserved for the Bumiputeras, and the other 10% for the non-Bumiputeras.
The matriculation programme has come under some criticism as it is the public
opinion that this programme is easier than the sixth form programme leading to the
STPM and serves to help Bumiputeras enter public universities easily. Having been
introduced after the abolishment of a racial-quota-based admission into universities, the
matriculation programme continues the role of its predecessor, albeit in modified
form.The matriculation programme adopts a semester basis examination (two
semesters in a year) whilst STPM involves only one final examination, covering all one
and a half years' syllabus in one go.
The Centre for Foundation Studies in Science, University of Malaya, offers two
programmes only for Bumiputera students : i) The Science Program, a one-year course
under the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education. After
completing the program, the students are placed into various science-based courses in
local universities through the meritocracy system. ii) The Special Preparatory Program
to Enter the Japanese Universities, a two-year intensive programme under the Look
East Policy Division of the Public Service Department of Malaysia in cooperation with
the Japanese Government.
Some students undertake their pre-university studies in private colleges. They may opt
for programmes such as the British 'A' Levels programme, the Canadian matriculation
programme or the equivalent of other national systems - namely the Australian NSW
Board of Studies Higher School Certificate and the American High School Diploma with
AP subjects. More recently, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is
becoming more popular as a pre-university option.
The Government has claimed that admission to universities are purely meritocracy
based, but having so many different pre-university programmes and without a standard
basis for comparison among the students, the public has been highly sceptical of the
Examination performance letter of the STPM examination
Tertiary education is heavily subsidised by the government. Before the introduction of
the matriculation system, students aiming to enter public universities had to complete an
additional 18 months of secondary schooling in Form Six and sit the Malaysian Higher
School Certificate (Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia, STPM); equivalent to the British
Advanced or 'A' levels. Since the introduction of the matriculation programme as an
alternative to STPM in 1999, students who completed the 12-month programme in
matriculation colleges (kolej matrikulasi in Malay) can enroll in local universities.
However, in the matriculation system, only 10% of the places are open to nonBumiputra students. Excellence in these examinations does not guarantee a place in a
public university. The selection criteria are largely opaque as no strictly enforced
defined guidelines exist.
The classification of tertiary education in Malaysia is organized upon the Malaysian
Qualifications Framework (MQF) which seeks to set up a unified system of post
secondary qualifications offered on a national basis both in the vocational as well as
higher educational sectors.
There are a number of public universities established in Malaysia. The academic
independence of public universities' faculty has been questioned. Critics like Bakri Musa
cite examples such as a scientist who was reprimanded by Deputy Prime Minister Najib
Razak for "publishing studies on air pollution", and a professor of mathematics
at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia who was reproved for criticising the government
policy of teaching mathematics and science in English at the primary and secondary
Students also have the option of enrolling in private tertiary institutions after secondary
studies. Private universities are also gaining a reputation for international quality
education and students from all over the world attend these universities. Many of these
institutions offer courses in cooperation with a foreign institute or university, especially in
the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, allowing students to spend a
portion of their course duration abroad as well as getting overseas qualifications. One
such example is SEGi University College which partnered with University of Abertay
Dundee. Many private colleges offer programmes whereby the student does part of
his degree course here and part of it in the other institution; this method is named
"twinning". The nature of these programs is somewhat diverse and ranges from the full
"twinning" program where all credits and transcripts are transferable and admission is
automatic to programs where the local institution offers an "associate degree" which is
accepted at the discretion of the partnering university. In the latter case, acceptance of
transcripts and credits is at the discretion of the partner. Some of them are branch
campuses of these foreign institutions. In addition, four reputable international
universities have set up their branch campuses in Malaysia since 1998. A branch
campus can be seen as an ‘offshore campus’ of the foreign university, which offers the
same courses and awards as the main campus. Both local and international students
can acquire these identical foreign qualifications in Malaysia at a lower fee. The foreign
university branch campuses in Malaysia are:
Monash University Malaysia Campus
Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Campus
Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus
University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
University of Reading Malaysia .
SAE Institute, Australia
Raffles Design Institute, Singapore
Postgraduate degrees such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and the
Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) are becoming popular and are offered by both
the public universities and the private colleges.
All public and most private universities in Malaysia offer Master of Science degrees
either through coursework or research and Doctor of Philosophy degrees through
Polytechnics in Malaysia provide courses for Advanced Diploma, Diploma and Special
The following is a list of the polytechnics in Malaysia in order of establishment:Official Name
Haji Ahmad Shah
Si Rusa, Negeri Sembilan
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Shah Alam, Selangor
Pasir Gudang, Johor
Permatang Pauh,Pulau Pinang
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Politeknik Merlimau PMM
Salahuddin Abdul PSA
Sungai Air Tawar,Selangor
Balik Pulau, Pulau Pinang
Politeknik Mersing PMJ
Johor Bahru, Johor
Butterworth, Pulau Pinang
There are five outcomes that this Blueprint aspires to for the Malaysian education
system as a whole: access, quality, equity, unity, and efficiency (Exhibit 7). These
outcomes are in line with the aspirations articulated by participants during the National
Dialogue, and are comparable to outcomes set by other high-performing education
systems. Action across all five areas is important, and no initiative in one area should
detract from or undermine progress in another.
▪▪ Access: Every child in Malaysia deserves equal access to an education that will
enable that child to achieve his or her potential. The Ministry thus aspires to ensure
universal access and full enrolment of all children from preschool through to upper
secondary school level (Form 5) by 2020.
▪▪ Quality: All children will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education that is
uniquely Malaysian and comparable to the best international systems. The aspiration is
for Malaysia to be in the top third of countries in terms of performance in international
assessments, as measured by outcomes in TIMSS and PISA, within 15 years. (TIMSS
and PISA currently test for literacy, Mathematics, and Science only. Additional
assessments that address other dimensions of quality that are relevant to the Malaysian
context may be included as they are developed and become accepted international
▪▪ Equity: Top-performing school systems deliver the best possible education for every
child, regardless of geography, gender, or socioeconomic background. The Ministry
aspires to halve the current
urban-rural, socio-economic, and gender achievement gaps by2020.
▪▪ Unity: As students spend over a quarter of their time in school from the ages of 7 t0
17, schools are in a key position to foster unity. Through interacting with individuals from
a range of socioeconomic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds—and learning to
understand, accept and embrace differences—a shared set of experiences and
aspirations for Malaysia’s future can be built. The Ministry aspires to create a system
where students have opportunities to build these shared experiences and aspirations
that form the foundation for unity.
▪▪ Efficiency: The Malaysian education system has always been well-funded, yet
improvements in student outcomes have not always matched the resources channeled
into the system. While the Government will maintain current levels of investment, the
aspiration is to further maximize student outcomes within the current budget levels.
Eleven shifts to transform the system
Over the course of the past year, the Ministry has sought input from a broad range of
stakeholders, from educationists and academics to parents and students, on what
would be required to deliver on the aspirations identified above. Given the volume of
input, there was a surprisingly high degree of consensus on some topics such as the
importance of raising the quality of teachers. There were also topics, such as the future
of language education, where there were mixed responses. Collectively, these shifts
address every stakeholder and the main concerns of the public. The Ministry hopes that
this inclusiveness will provide the basis for a common focus that can be embraced by all
Shift 1: Provide equal access to quality education of an international standard.
Launch new Secondary School Standard Curriculum or Kurikulum Standard
Sekolah Menengah (KSSM) and revised Primary School Standard Curriculum or
Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah (KSSR) in 2017. The school curriculum at both
primary and secondary levels will be revised to embed a balanced set of knowledge and
skills such as creative thinking, innovation, problem solving, and leadership. This
curriculum will still stress student centered and differentiated teaching, but have a
greater emphasis on problem-based and project-based work, a streamlined set of
subjects or themes, and formative assessments. The new curriculum will also support
an accelerated learning pathway for high-performing students to complete SPM in four
rather than five years, and UPSR in five rather than six years. Additionally, clear
learning standards will be laid out so that students and parents understand the progress
expected within each year of schooling.
Shift 2: Ensure every child is proficient in Bahasa Malaysia and English language
Introduce a standard Bahasa Malaysia curriculum at the primary level, with
intensive remedial support for struggling students. Every primary school student,
regardless of whether they are in a National or National-type school, will use a standard
Bahasa Malaysia curriculum starting from the Year 4 cohort in 2014. At National type
schools, students who are struggling to cope with this change will receive remedial
after-school Bahasa Malaysia classes from Years 4 to 6 (after the completion of the
Literacy and Numeracy Screening (LINUS) 2.0 programme). The objective is to
intervene early and often to allow for the removal of the “Remove” or Peralihan class
from 2017 onwards.
Shift 3: Develop values-driven Malaysians
Develop students holistically by reinforcing the requirement for every
student to participate in 1 Sport, 1 Club, and 1 Uniformed Body. Co-curricular
involvement provides students with opportunities to develop their individual talents and
interests outside of a formal classroom setting. Such activities also provide excellent
leadership opportunities for students. Every child will therefore still be expected to
participate in at least 1 sport, 1 club, and 1 uniformed body. The Ministry will also look
into making participation a requirement for graduation and scholarships for further
education. To improve the quality of activities offered at each school, the Ministry will
provide targeted training to teachers who act as advisors for these different activities,
and partner with more community organizations and the private sector in the delivery of
Shift 4: Transform teaching into the profession of choice
Focus teachers on their core function of teaching from 2013. Teachers will
enjoy a reduced administrative burden, so that they can focus the majority of their time
on their core function of teaching. This will be achieved by streamlining and simplifying
existing data collection and management processes. Some administrative functions will
also be moved to a centralized service centre or to a dedicated administrative teacher at
the school level.
Shift 5: Ensure high-performing school leaders in every school
Competency-based selection criteria and enhanced succession planning
processes for principals from 2013. New Principal Career Package rolled-out in waves
from 2013, with greater support (for example via coaches,on-boarding programmers),
greater operational flexibility for school improvement, curriculum and co curricular
planning, and sharper accountability for improving student outcomes.
Shift 6: Empower JPNs, PPDs, and schools to customise solutions based on need
Accelerate school improvement through systematic, districtled programmes in all
states by 2014 Allow greater schoolbased management and autonomy, including
greater operational flexibility over budget allocation and curriculum implementation,
starting with the best performing and most improved schools.
Shift 7: Leverage ICT to scale up quality learning across Malaysia
Provide internet access and virtual learning environment via 1BestariNet for all
10,000 schools by 2013. Augment online best practices content starting with a video
library of best teachers delivering lessons in critical subjects in 2013
Maximize use of ICT for distance and self paced learning to expand capacity and allow
for more customized learning
Shift 8: Transform Ministry delivery capabilities and capacity
Strengthen leadership Capabilities in pivotal 150-200 leadership roles from 2013
Strengthen key central functions and rationalize structure of Ministry from 2016
Shift 9: Partner with parents, community, and private sector at scale
Equip every parent to support their child's learning via a parent engagement
toolkit and online access to their child's in school progress (SAPS system)
Invite every PIBG to provide input on contextualization of curriculum and teacher quality
from 2016. Expand Trust School model to 500 schools by 2025 by including alumni
groups and NGOs as potential sponsors
Shift 10: Maximize student outcomes for every ringgit
Link every programme to clear student outcomes and annually rationalize
programmed that have low impact; align to government’s overall shift towards outcomebased budgeting. Capture efficiency opportunities, with funding reallocated to the most
critical areas such as teacher training and up skilling
Shift 11: Increase transparency for direct public accountability
Publish an annual public report on progress against Blueprint targets and
initiatives, starting for the year 2013
Conduct comprehensive stocktakes in 2015, 2020 and 2025 to ensure Blueprint
remains relevant by incorporating stakeholder feedback and accounting for an ever
evolving external environment