According to UNESCO, Malaysia provides well for its students:
BANGKOK: The Malaysian education system has done well in terms of facilities provided to students and teachers’ salaries, according to a study carried out in 11 countries by Unesco’s Institute for Statistics. Malaysia scored a high percentage in the availability of electricity, blackboards, sufficient seating, library facilities and computers for students and administrators.
The report, released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation yesterday, showed that educational expenditure per primary school pupil was highest in Chile (US$2,120 or RM6,900), followed by Argentina (US$1,605), Malaysia (US$1,552), Brazil (US$1,159) and Uruguay (US$1,063).
In contrast, expenditure per primary school pupil was less than US$700 in India, Paraguay, Peru and the Philippines.
It’s good to know that Malaysian schools provide a lot for their students. However, I would like to know the following to make more sense of this report:
- How well-maintained are the resources and facilities? Are students given recent and up-to-date resources, or are they still on highly outdated resources (such as computers running Windows 95)?
- What percentage of that money is that compared to the rest of the National Budget? How does it compare to national living costs?
- How effectively is that money utilized? Is the money well-spent?
- Where in Malaysia, besides the completely rural areas, do you get 18 students for one teacher? Our classrooms were commonly filled with 30-40 people.
- How effectively are the students learning? Do the resources actually contribute to student education? Are the teachers doing well?
The government has spent a total of RM3.2 billion over the past five years to carry out the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English, Deputy Education Minister Razali Ismail told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Out of the amount, the government paid a whopping RM2.21 billion for the purchase of information and computer technology (ICT) equipments.
The rest of the expenditure went to the payment for educational incentives (RM638 million), teachers’ training (RM317 million) and ICT software (RM2.4 million).
WHOA! But what’s the point of all that money on technology if you don’t train teachers to use it? What about language training – apparently some teachers still revert to Bahasa Malaysia! What’s “educational incentives”? Why does hardware need to be that expensive? What about other non-computing learning tools, books, field trips?
Where’s all that money going through and where does it all come from?