(Ipoh, Wednesday): The lukewarm response of the Education Minister, Tan Sri
Musa Mohamad to the proposal by the
Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday for computer
studies to be taught in schools as a core subject to give the younger generation
a head start in embracing new technology is most disappointing and
deplorable and raises the question of Musa’s fitness to be Education
Minister for the new economy brought about by the information and communications
DAP seems to be more enthusiastic than Musa for
Abdullah’s proposal as DAP has not only expressed its full support, but has
called for the amendment of the Education Act 1996 in the September Parliament
to make computer literacy a core subject for primary and secondary school
curriculum with effect from next year.
In contrast, Musa is indulging in the classic bureaucratic
game of delaying tactics, saying that information technology (IT) will be
introduced as a core subject in schools “although it has not been decided when
and at what level” – which is classic example of bureaucratic talk which
means absolutely nothing!
The issue before the people and country is whether computer literacy should be immediately introduced as a core subject for all primary and secondary schools with effect from next year – and not the Musa-speak about the indefinite future.
Musa does not seem to be committed or serious about the urgent need to lay the foundations for a competent information technology society in Malaysia for future generations, by giving top priority to turn Abdullah’s proposal into policy and then fleshing it out with implementation plans– although Malaysia has already lost over 30 Internet years, with one human year equated to about five Internet years, in not adopting such a policy proposal earlier.
DAP calls for the immediate establishment of an education task force to prepare a report to implement Abdullah’s proposal to make computer literacy a core subject for schools with effect from next year.
It is most shocking that the proposal to make computer literacy a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools was never discussed in the 10-year Education Development Blueprint (2001-2010) announced by Musa last October, reflecting the inadequacies and flaws of the draft blueprint.
The importance of reforming the national education system to create a solid foundation for a competent digital society will be one of the priorities of the DAP 10-Year Education Master Plan (2003-2013). .
The DAP 10-Year Education Master Plan Committee, which will hold its inaugural meeting on Monday, will seek to have discussions with the Education Minister and Education Ministry planners about the national education agenda including the 10-Year Education Development Blueprint, as well as with educationists in both the public and private sectors.