Would Najib ask all the 34 UMNO/BN Ministers who send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, to resign for their lack of confidence in the Umno/BN national education policy and system?
Malaysians must thank the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad for highlighting the scandal of more and more Umno/BN Ministers and leaders sending their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, as it has been a standing example in the past decades of the hypocrisy of UMNO/BN leaders who preach one thing for ordinary Malaysians but do the exact opposite for themselves and their family.
Would the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ask all the 34 Umno/BN Ministers who send their children to private or international schools, whether local or foreign, to resign for their lack of confidence in the Umno/BN national education policy and system?
I have been informed that one of the first things a Minister of the Najib Cabinet did on his appointment was to transfer one of his children to an international school.
Is this because Malaysia’s education system sucks, stuck in the bottom third of the countries surveyed in international assessments and not making any significant moves towards the upper tier of the top one-third of the countries with 15-year-olds in Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea performing as though they had four or even five more years of schooling than 15-years-olds in Malaysia in mathematics, science and reading?
Recent world university rankings show a power shift from the West, in particular the United States and United Kingdom, to the East, with for example 24 Asian Universities listed in the top 200 universities in the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings compared with 20 a year earlier – led by Tokyo University and National University of Singapore in the top 25.
But this seismic shift in the continuing erosion of United States and United Kingdom domination of global higher education and the inexorable rise of Asian universities seemed to have completely by-passed Malaysia, despite our annual massive expenditures on education.
This trend was confirmed in the release of the US News and World Report’s 500 Best Global Universities Ranking 2015 last month, where the country’s premier university, the University of Malaya is the only university listed in the very lowly position of No. 423.
Even more serious, Malaysia is only placed in two of the 2,100 slots for 100 Best Global Universities for 21 subjects, i.e. Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) placed in the 54th rank in the 100 Best Global Universities for agricultural science, and University Sains Malaysia (USM) ranked No. 87 in the 100 Best Global Universities for engineering.
It is scandalous and shameful that out of the 2,100 slots for 100 Best Global Universities for 21 subjects, Malaysia’s 21 public universities which have a total of over 200 schools for different disciplines, could only manage to be placed in the 100 Best Global University slots for two subjects – agricultural science for UPM and engineering for USM.
Malaysians would have expected the University of Malaya, as the premier university of the country which have 12 faculties, two academies, five institutes and five centres, to be ranked among the 100 Best Global Universities in at least half a dozen subject areas since it got ranked as No. 423 in the 500 Best Global Universities Rankings 2015.
This is because universities which were on par with UM in terms of academic excellence and standards half a century ago, like University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, University of Melbourne and University of Sydney are ranked in the 100 Best Global Universities in more than a dozen subject areas.
National University of Singapore is 100 Best Global Universities for 15 subjects, University of Hong Kong in 13 subjects, University of Melbourne for 16 subjects and University of Sydney in 13 subjects.
Singapore, with three universities, wins 20 of the 2,100 slot for the 100 Best Global Universities for 21 subjects, i.e. National University of Singapore (15), Nanyang Technological University (4) and Singapore Management University (1).
Even Mahidol University of Thailand, which is below University of Malaya, being ranked No. 453 in the 500 Best Global Universities Rankings 2015, is rated as the 100 Best Global Universities for two subject areas – immunology and microbiology.
But Umno/BN Ministers and leaders are not really concerned about the deteriorating standards of education and higher education in Malaysia because they have themselves no confidence in the Umno/BN education system and policy and have long ago ensured that their children opted out of the system altogether.
How many Umno/BN Ministers and leaders dare to declare that they do not send their children to private or international schools, local or foreign?
Will UMNO delegates next week demand that all the 18 UMNO Ministers and 17 UMNO Deputy Ministers should each make a public declaration whether their children and grandchildren are educated under the national education system or whether they have been educated in private or international schools, local or foreign?