Educational Development in Malaysia: Issues and Challenges
Author: Tan Yao Sua
The development of education in Malaysia, a multiethnic country that comprises three main ethnic groups, namely Malays, Chinese and Indians, is confronted by a myriad of issues and challenges. This book comprises 14 chapters that deal with various issues and challenges that affect the development of education in Malaysia. The first four chapters are basically historical documentation of educational development based on a certain period of time, mostly relating to the development of Chinese education except for the first chapter that examines the British educational policy towards the Malays.
The next two chapters look at the contributions of the Malay and Chinese educationists towards the development of education to uphold the interests of their respective communities. One chapter offers a comparative perspective between a Malay educationist and a Chinese educationist. The other chapter discusses the role played by a Chinese educationist to strengthen the Chinese education movement through political mobilisation. The subsequent five chapters examine educational issues and challenges such as identity and cultural contestation, race-based policies and practices, the impact of demographic changes on educational development, globalisation and educational language policy as well as the democratisation of secondary education and emerging problems and challenges.
The final three chapters are originally empirical studies based on fieldwork data. One of the chapters deals with the policy of teaching science and mathematics in English implemented in 2003. Although this policy has been terminated, there is a re-emergence of the policy via the recently launched dual language programme and thus justifies its inclusion in the book. The other two chapters deal with two issues, namely the democratisation of secondary education and Malay students in Chinese primary schools. The first issue focuses on learning attitudes and aspirations among secondary school students, while the other issue focuses on parental choice of schooling, learning processes and inter-ethnic friendship patterns.
Tan Yao Sua holds a doctorate in History and Educational Development. He is a former senior lecturer and research fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and International Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. He is now an honorary research fellow with the Centre for Malaysian Chinese Studies. His research interests include Malaysian Chinese Studies, educational policy analysis, minority education and sociology of education. He has published widely in these areas.
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