Schools determine a child’s future. It is clear our schools are not equal in quality—where are reports of such mass negligence and abuse in the schools of Putrajaya? We must arm parents and students with hard data to ensure they can take the Federal Government to task for failing to provide the same quality of education for all.
Today, school quality is wholly focused on exam scores (e.g. Gred Purata) and even that is incredibly hidden, nearly considered a Government Secret not to be shared with the public by teachers.
However, critical education quality metrics have been wholly ignored at the school-level, leaving communities abandoned for decades: some schools in Malaysia are exceedingly world-class, while others are more akin to lawless and negligent daycare facilities.
Some of these metrics that Malaysian families have little concrete, public, and updated data on a per-school basis:
- the number of counselors
- the number of misconduct complaints at the school
- the names of all administrators, teachers, and staff
- the school’s financial audit history
- the school’s physical safety audit history
- the facilities’ accessibility, average teacher attendance
- the percentage of classrooms with functioning cooling
- the number of students versus the school's capacity
- teacher & staff to student ratio
- the available curriculum choices
- the percentage of teachers whose training matches their workload,
- and many others.
We propose a mandatory Yearly Report Card for all MOE schools to cover Curriculum, Integrity, and Safety. Once parents can study their school choices and the MOE’s policies can be scrutinized by independent experts and civil society, it will force a dramatic change in the national conversation on education quality.
This “paperwork” is focused on the very problems we must fight; documentation becomes evidence and yet all such evidence has never been openly shared with parents.
- Mental Health Capacities: the number of trained counselors, % of school days counselors are available, and aggregated / anonymized results of the Borang Minat Belajar.
- Integrity Capacities: the number of misconduct complaints filed against officers at the school, the names of all administrators and their responsibilities, the school’s financial audit history, the average teacher attendance %, the number of caning / corporal punishment incidents in the past year.
- Quality Capacities: % of teachers teaching their trained subject, the available curricula and co-curricular programs, the teacher / staff to student ratio.
- Physical Capacities: the school’s physical safety audit history, the facilities’ accessibility, the % of classrooms with functioning cooling, total classroom capacity vs registered students.
The Yearly Report Card must be submitted by a deadline to an online, freely accessible portable with clear explanations of each metric for parents, students, and experts.
The Ministry of Education then must use this data as the primary source for the allocation of counselors, teachers, contract & procurement funding, teaching assistants, and audits.
Any schools with an above average number of misconduct complaints must remain under NAZIR investigation with monthly school visits by trained MOE personnel.
Failing to improve the lowest ranked school conditions over some number of years (e.g., five years) will require the Ministry of Education to allocate a commensurate reimbursement fee out of the Ministry of Education’s budget to parents so parents may take direct emergency action (to be used for counselling, tuition, etc.) for their children that school year.
Failing to submit accurate and / or complete reports by the yearly deadline must be a disciplinary offence with a punishment no less than a proportional salary dock against the school principal and school assistants (rank PK) by the Public Ombudsman.