Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has urged teachers to redouble their efforts to improve the quality of education in the country to match international standards.
He said their hard work in implementing various initiatives in the Malaysian Education Development Plan had resulted in the country stepping out of the bottom third of the international education system ratings.
However, he said the country’s overall achievement was still below the average achievement of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
“I know this will take time. That is why the Education Development Plan was to be implemented in a time frame of 12 years, from 2013 to 2025.
“We have another five years to boost the quality of education in our country, so that we are in the top third of the quality ratings of the international education system.
“I believe that with the passion, commitment and dedication of all teachers, we will achieve this goal, ” Muhyiddin said in a speech to mark the national Teachers Day celebrations on Saturday (May 16).
He said as a former minister of education, he was involved in the drafting of the development plan.
He said at the time, they were worried about the educational achievements in the country, as Malaysia was said to be in the bottom third internationally.
Muhyiddin also paid tribute to teachers for their dedication to students, despite the obstacles faced during the movement control order (MCO) and the conditional MCO to curb the spread of Covid-19.
He said in conducting home-based learning, many teachers used various methods to connect with students, such as using Google Classrooms, cikguTube, Zoom, WhatsApp and Telegram, among other other things.
He said there were even teachers who conducted online sports training.
However, he said there were still obstacles to online learning, as not all students had good access to the Internet, and many did not have the right devices.
He said some teachers even printed the homework for their students and collaborated with the Parents and Teachers Association (PIBG) to send the questions to the students’ homes.
“I’m deeply touched and appreciate the efforts by our teachers and parents, ” he said.
Muhyiddin also said the government would announce the dates of the reopening of schools two weeks before they were scheduled to resume, with this depending on the advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
He said when schools reopened, priority would be given to those taking the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Malaysian Vocational Certificate (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) examinations.
He said schools would have to adhere to standard operating procedures such as social distancing, monitoring the arrival and movement of students, practising cleanliness, and adhering to the proper arrangement of tables in classrooms.