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Tuesday, 19 July 2011 20:44

MALAYSIA'S journey to be at the forefront of education is just beginning, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Muhyiddin, who is also education minister, said the government focused on key initiatives to provide wider access to basic education and improve the quality of education.
"Our focus is on raising educational standards and outcomes through several levers, namely, expanding the provision of preschool, especially in rural areas; ensuring basic literacy and numeracy skills; recognising teachers' contributions; rewarding top-performing schools; and supporting under-performing schools."

He said this at the two-day Informal East Asia Summit Education Ministers Meeting here.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia had carried out a student mobility programme with credit transfer system with Indonesia and Thailand last year.

"We are expanding the number of participating universities, students and each country's programmes.

"I believe that the harmonisation of higher education in Asean will expedite the growth of this programme."

He said he was pleased with Asean nations' commitment to the goal of providing education for all and ensuring that all children, especially those with disabilities, also received access to quality education.

"Malaysia organised a seminar on education for children with disabilities, which served as a platform to discuss access to quality education, as well as developing a remedial programme for such children.

"A regional centre in Malaysia will promote cooperation and worldwide networking in special education."

Speaking later, he said Malaysia would like to play a prominent role in ensuring that programmes offered by institutions of higher learning were accredited and aligned with standards set by agencies, professional bodies and the industry.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia carried out continuous benchmarking against international standards to ensure students had skills and work competencies.

"I am pleased to say that our Malaysian qualifications framework is among the first in the quality assurance system to ensure that the framework is implemented efficiently."