• Hashini Kavishtri Kannan, NST

NGOs say new education commission 'timely and crucial'

PUTRAJAYA: A new national education commission is a crucial platform to implement and exchange ideas mooted by stakeholders on the development of the education system.

Various parties have extended their support and expressed ideas on policies governing the commission, which proposal had been endorsed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president Kamarozaman Abd Razak said the commission could ensure that the education system would not be controlled by a single authority.

“We have been urging for its establishment for quite some time, and now we are glad that the deputy prime minister has also supported our call.

“We hope for the commission to be set up soon, as we believe that the education system should not be controlled by a single authority,” Kamarozaman said when contacted by the New Straits Times today.

He said currently the Education Ministry has full authority over the national education system and policies.

“The commission could also see to the needs of teachers more effectively. This can alleviate some of the burdens shouldered by the ministry.”

Kamarozaman said as of now, the existing Education Services Commission only looked at education schemes and not policies.

“Most importantly, the education commission should remain independent such as the ones in Australia and New Zealand.”

NUTP secretary-general Harry Tan Huat Hock hoped the union would be given the chance to provide input.

Tan said the commission should look into all education matters including co-curriculum, technical and vocational education training, syllabus, uniform, school holidays and examinations.

“We hope to be able to provide our input in the setting-up of the commission, in all matters pertaining to education, except matters such as pay, emolument, promotion and trade disputes.”

Echoing similar sentiments, Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the commission must espouse transparency as part of its policies.

“It is a good move (the establish the new commission). But it (quality and efficiency of the commission) also depends on the line-up. The commission’s reports must also be made transparent.”

Meanwhile, Deputy Education Minister Datuk P. Kamalanathan said the idea of establishing the commission is another way of enriching performance delivery and direction of the national education agenda.

“It is also an opportunity for experts in the field to voice their concerns, and re-orientate the education policy.”

NST

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