First, let me start off with an overview of the Plan. In the past, the Malaysia Plan has been written from a "sector" perspective, for e.g., "Health", "Environment", "Infrastructure & Utilities" etc. However, this time round, the 9MP is written from a "theme" perspective.
That means that for each objective and theme which 9MP intends to achieve, the action items relevant to each sector will be highlighted. It's probably a better way to present the Plan, for action items, irrespective of sectors or ministry should be drafted to achieve specific objectives, instead of being confined to individual ministries. However, it will make sifting the document for action plans relating to specific sectors a tad harder.
The are 5 key themes and objectives which were outlined in the 9MP. They are:
- First: To move the economy up the value chain
- Second: To raise the capacity for knowledge and innovation and nurture ‘first class mentality’
- Third: To address persistent socio-economic inequalities constructively and productively
- Fourth: To improve the standard and sustainability of quality of life
- Fifth: To strengthen the institutional and implementation capacity
Knowledge, innovation and values - in sum, the quality of the nation’s human capital - will be the key determinants of Malaysia’s future success as a knowledge-based economy. The country must raise the capacity of its people by:So from the "high-level" sound of it, the Plan is on the right track. But then again, many of Malaysia's 5-Year Plans are pretty well written (it better be, for many expensive consultants have been paid to write or contribute to it). The issue for Malaysia has always been a case of the ability to execute. Will we indeed have 2 top universities in the world by the year 2020?
By 2020, the country targets to improve the appeal of national schools to the public. The extent of achievement will be indicated by the increase in the enrolment of Chinese and Indian students in national primary schools. The proportion of Chinese population in the age cohort of 6-11 years attending national schools is expected to expand from 6 per cent in 2005 to 12 per cent by 2010 while that of the Indians from 43.2 per cent to 60 per cent.
- promoting Islam Hadhari as a comprehensive and universal development framework for the nation
- undertaking comprehensive improvement of the education system, from pre-school to tertiary level, from the aspects of curriculum and teaching to school facilities, with a special focus on raising the standard of schools in the rural areas
- enhancing national schools to become the people’s school of choice
- producing universities of international standing and ensuring that tertiary institutions meet the needs of employers
- creating more avenues for skills development, training and lifelong learning for the labour force at all levels and for all ages, including in ICT
- providing an environment and innovation system, which encourages top quality R&D and its commercialisation
- refining and implementing programmes, which encourage the development of a strong moral and ethical culture as encapsulated in the PIN [National Integrity Plan]
- empowering youth and women to participate fully in national growth and development
All children will attain a minimum of 11 years of schooling. It is also targeted for at least two universities to achieve international repute and standing.
For R&D, the ratio of GERD to GDP is projected to double, while the number of researchers per 10,000 labour force is expected to increase to 65. The number of patents and commercialised R&D is expected to rise significantly from the low base in 2005.
The standout objective for me relating to education in Malaysia has to be the specific mention of the need to enhance "national schools to become the people’s school of choice". I've written many many times on this theme through my various posts and I believe that for Malaysia to exist as a harmonious and united nation in the future, it is absolutely imperative for Malaysia to get this right.
OK, that's the overview of the 9MP for the moment. As Kian Ming and myself digest more stuff from the plan, we'll dish out more articles for your reading pleasure. :)