PISA 2015 a major setback for Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 to achieve above global average and be in top one-third of countries in international educational standards in less than a decade by 2025
The PISA 2015 results were supposed to be the coming-of-age of the Najib premiership, both nationally and internationally – to provide evidence that under Najib’s premiership, with his string of National Transformation Programmes, the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025, and most important of all, his forthcoming and most ambitious 2050 National Transformation (TN50) Plan to replace Vision 2020, Malaysia would not only be able to become a RM2 trillion economy in seven to eight years, but to become the Top 20 nation in the world.
But the PISA 2015 results were a major setback to Najib’s towering ambitions, in particular the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 objective to achieve above global average and be in top one-third of countries in international educational standards in less than a decade by 2025.
This was why the Malaysian government was so quick off-the-mark to claim credit for good improvement in the OECD-organised PISA 2015 tests – announcing that Malaysia scored 446 in Mathematics, 431 in Reading and 443 in Science as compared to Malaysia’s PISA 2012 results of 421 in Mathematics, 414 in Reading and 422 in Science.
This will be quite creditable improvement if true, as the three sets of PISA results for Malaysia since 2009 would be as follows:
PISA Score (Rank)
The PISA 2015 results were quite creditable improvements over previous results in PISA 2009 and 2012, except that these were PISA 2015 results arbitrarily and unilaterally announced by the Education Ministry but not approved or recognized by the PISA authorities in OECD.
In fact, I was shocked and stunned when I followed on the Internet the launching of the PISA 2015 results in London two days ago, and I combed through PISA 2015 Report “Volume 1: Excellence and Equity in Education” and I found to my disbelief and horror that Malaysia is not in the list of the 72 participating countries/economies, although 9,660 students from 230 schools in Malaysia took part in the PISA 2015 tests last year.
Malaysia has the dubious distinction as one of the four countries whose PISA 2015 results were excluded by the PISA authorities whether for mistake in testing methodology, manipulation of data or distorted sampling.
The other three countries are Argentina, Albania and Kazakstan.
In a proper and accurate assessment of Malaysian students, would Malaysia have achieved the improvements in PISA 2015 now claimed by the Education Ministry but not recognized by PISA?
Even assuming that Malaysian students had achieved the international educational standards as claimed by the Education Ministry, Malaysia has still a long way to go to achieve the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 objective to be above global average and be in top one-third of countries in international educational standards in global assessments like PISA and Trends in Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS) in less than a decade by 2025!
The nine years left for the Malaysian Education Blueprint would involve three more PISAs – PISA 2018, PISA 2022 and PISA 2025.
Can Malaysia achieve the Malaysian Education Blueprint 2013-2025 objective to be above global average and be in top one-third of countries in international educational standards by 2025?
Even going by the Education Ministry’s claims of improved PISA 2015 performance, which is not recognized by the PISA authorities, Malaysia is still below the OECD average for all three subjects, which is 490 for Mathematics, 493 for Science and Reading.
If Malaysia is to in top one-third of countries in the PISA tests, Malaysia will have to perform better than countries including United States, Austria, France, Sweden, Czech Republic, Spain, Latvia, Russia, Luxembourg, Italy, Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, Iceland, Israel, Malta, Slovak Republic, Greece, Chile and Bulgaria which are countries in the second one-third ranking of PISA assessments, and better positioned than Malaysia, even going by the Education Ministry’s claims of PISA 2015 results which are not recognized by PISA authorities.
Is this likely without even talking about Malaysia edging out countries in the top one-third of PISA 2015 tests, led by Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Taiwan Finland, Macao, Canada, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, New Zealand, Slovenia, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, Portugal and Norway.
It is sad and shameful that Malaysians should be bogged down by the question as to why Malaysia had been excluded from PISA 2015 results and why the Education Ministry’s claims of PISA 2015 results are not recognized by the PISA authorities, when we should be focusing on why Malaysia is finding it so difficult in improve on our international educational standards while other countries are blazing ahead as education superpowers – like Singapore.
In fact, many of the students in Singapore who sat for the PISA 2015 are probably Malaysians – raising the question why Malaysian students can help ensure Singapore is the No. 1 education power in the world but in Malaysia, the nation is lagging far behind in the international educational assessments.
What is the answer to this question?
I am surprised that there is still no statement by the Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid on the PISA 2015 results controversay despite the Cabinet meeting yesterday.
Did Mahdzir brief the Cabinet on the reasons for the derecognition of Malaysia’s PISA 2015 results by the PISA authorities, and when is Mahdzir going to enlighten the Malaysian citizenry on what happened with regard to the PISA results for Malaysia?