World Education Day: Focus on creating analytical, critical, creative students, say experts

24 Jan 2023 08:00am
MoE needs to invest in quality education while bridging learning gap caused during Covid lockdowns.
MoE needs to invest in quality education while bridging learning gap caused during Covid lockdowns.

SHAH ALAM - The Education Ministry (MOE) needs to invest more in quality education while bridging the Covid-19 learning gap in Malaysia.

To mark Unesco's International Day of Education on Jan 24, education expert and University of Malaya Fellow Zahari Othman said the focus should be on school dropouts during the health pandemic.

He said education was handled poorly during Covid-19 lockdowns, impacting quality of education.

“Malaysia is no exception in this issue. MoE needs to overcome this by putting priorities on implementating the process successfully," he told Sinar Daily.

Zahari, an expertise in Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) development added MoE should retrain teachers on pedagogical knowledge relevant to the goal of instilling critical and creative thinking skills.

"I urge MoE to invest more in teachers, especially in HOTS training to bridge the Covid-19 learning gap," he added.

Zahari, the Centre for Teaching Thinking and Innovation (CenT-TI) director added Malaysia needs to look into designing curriculum, assessment and pedagogical models that creates analytical, critical, creative, ethical and innovative students.

Echoing Zahari’s view, Parent Action Group for Education chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said its time for MoE to invest on teaching assistants to bridge the Covid-19 learning gap.

“The education budget appears to be significant every year but it is still inadequate.

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“Up to 80 per cent goes to teacher emoluments leaving little for everything else such as teacher training especially, maintenance of building particularly toilets, upkeep of sports equipment and science laboratories.

Most importantly teaching assistants where classrooms are overpopulated and the elimination of double session schools in urban areas,” she stressed.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Jan 24 as International Day of Education to celebrate the role of education in promoting peace and development.

Unesco has also dedicated the fifth edition of the International Day to all the girls and women in Afghanistan who have been denied their right to learn, study and teach.

The organisation has strongly denounced this egregious assault on human dignity and the right to education.