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Responding to Idris Jusoh

I welcome the Second Education Minister Idris Jusoh’s promise that he would put his job a stake that Malaysian students will do better in 2015’ Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS).

Too few Cabinet Ministers in the UMNO-BN government are willing to take personal responsibility over their respective portfolios.

We plan to hold Idris to his pledge and eagerly await details of his plan to ensure that Malaysian students do better in the PISA and TIMSS.

However, the Minister should also be aware that the anxiety troubling many Malaysian parents, educators and employers goes beyond these two international assessment tests.

Indeed, the problems facing Malaysian education are much deeper than how our students do in PISA and TIMSS—although the decline in performance is certainly worrying.

Other systematic abuses and shortcomings continue to go unaddressed. These include poor training and management of teachers, repeated political interference in curriculums, as well as alleged improprieties in education-related procurement and instances of prejudice against minority students.

It would be even more appropriate if the Minister could pledge to resolve these long-standing problems and also be willing to put his job on the line in resolving them.