Local experts better pick to prepare schools blueprint, MPs say

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launches Education Blueprint final report at Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. — Pic by Saw Siow Feng
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launches Education Blueprint final report at Plenary Hall, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. — Pic by Saw Siow Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Putrajaya should have recruited local education experts to help draw up the National Education Blueprint (NEB) instead of contracting a private consultancy to prepare the plan, two opposition lawmakers said today.

DAP MPs Dr Ong Kian Ming and Zairil Khir Johari pointed out that portions of the master plan by the Education Ministry already demonstrated that this was feasible.

“For example, the final NEB report lists the contributions from local experts, including studies by six local universities, which are Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Akademi Kepimpinan

Pengajian Tinggi (AKEPT),” they said in a statement today.

The opposition lawmakers also noted that Pemandu’s Education Lab was led by local experts from the Education Ministry, including the Aminuddin Baki Institute.

“At the same time, the National Education Dialogue panel, under the leadership of Tan Sri Datuk Dr Wan Mohd Zahid Mohd Noordin, had prepared a report based on the townhall meetings that were held in 14 states,” they said.

Ong and Zairil further added that the contributions from the consultancy, McKinsey and Co, were also not listed in the report.

Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported by news portal Malaysiakini yesterday as saying that the RM20 million fee for McKinsey was “reasonable” because the NEB was a large-scale project that took two years to complete.

Today, the two DAP MPs maintained that McKinsey’s role was superfluous.

“This is because the government has many able departments and agencies, like the Education NKRA (National Key Result Area) and the National Key Economic Area (NKEA) teams in Pemandu, the Education Planning and Research Division, and the Education Performance and Implementation (PADU) unit that was set up in April 2012,” they added.

The National Education Blueprint, which was launched by Muhyiddin on September 6 this year, is a 15-year roadmap for the country’s education system that will cover the years from 2013 to 2025.

The government will take stock of the NEB’s progress at the milestone years of 2015, 2020 and 2025.

One of the government’s aims in the NEB is to propel Malaysia to the top third tier in international education rankings in 15 years’ time, based on the results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

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