Education in a Multi-cultural Society: A Case Study of Malaysia

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Date(s) - 26/11/2012
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Room H 2.22, Level 2, Building H, Monash University Caulfield Campus


Monash Asia Seminars – Centre for Malaysian Studies Seminar

Professor Dr Sidek Baba
International Islamic University Malaysia

Light refreshment is provided.

Malaysia is well known for its multi-religious and multicultural society. Its education policy, while stressing some important provisions such as the Malay Language as the medium of instruction, Islamic religious instruction for Muslims and moral education for non-Muslims, also allows for the usage of English as a Second Language of instruction. At the same time, the policy also accommodates for Vernacular Schools at the Primary Level as provision for the teaching of Chinese and Tamil and its use as a medium of instruction.

The objective of the Malaysian educational system is not only to focus on providing holistic education but also to foster unity among the younger generation of Malaysians. With the mission to achieve the goals of the former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir’s Vision 2020, Malaysia sets out to become a fully-developed country by making education the essential key to develop human potential.

Recently the government launched the Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013- 2025) with the objectives to strengthen the issues of access, quality, equity, unity and efficiency within the education system. It designates six key attributes to be addressed for every student in order for Malaysia to attain globally competitiveness. In other words, every student will be nurtured to attain the knowledge, thinking skills, leadership skills, bilingual proficiency, ethics and spirituality, and national identity aligned with the National Education Philosophy. This transformational strategy in education is designed to prepare Malaysia to face domestic and global challenges and at the same time to foster greater unity among its citizens.

Professor Dr Sidek Baba is currently a professor at the Institute of Education, International Islamic University Malaysia’s (IIUM). He also served as the Deputy Rector of IIUM from 1995 to 2002. He obtained his Ph.D. in Educational Policies from Northern Illinois University, USA. He was appointed the Director of the Program to develop the curriculum for Islamic Civilization in Higher Education and the Centre for Asian Civilization at the University of Malaya. He is a board member of various organizations, including the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) and the Institute of Integrity Malaysia.

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