IPOH : THE implementation of a holistic national education agenda is not solely the responsibility of schools and teachers, said Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.
Raja Nazrin said the participation of the public, especially the younger generation, was equally important to ensure that the government gathered relevant feedback.
As such, he said the ongoing National Education Dialogue, which was inclusive and encouraged greater public participation, was a brilliant move by the government, in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's statement on "the era of government knows best is over".
The National Education Dialogue is being held nationwide to gather views from various quarters to improve the education system.
"The national education agenda should be interpreted more widely, more holistically.
"It is one which involves crucial investments to develop the pool of human capital and thus, should be looked into more objectively.
"There should be a collective approach to ensure its success as well as flexibility to make a paradigm shift. The education agenda won't be complete if it's left solely to schools and teachers.
"Parents, the community and various institutions must play their roles in this area," Raja Nazrin said at the 39th Boarding Schools' Excellence Day award ceremony here yesterday.
Present were his consort, Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, and Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.
Raja Nazrin stressed that weaknesses must be acknowledged in order to improve.
"One should admit one's mistakes and not shift the blame to others. In carrying out improvements, there must be a collective responsibility... a responsibility to shoulder burdens together, an open mind to accept criticism positively and the flexibility to make a paradigm shift."
Raja Nazrin also said the success of schools and teachers depended on the number of high achievers they produced.
"The assessment system, which is exam-oriented, provides very little room to recognise those with other talents.
"Teachers and pupils are trapped into thinking of only achieving academic excellence, which results in a holistic teaching culture to be set aside," he said, adding that aspects of cleanliness and discipline were also compromised.
He said it had become acceptable today to see broken glass panels in classrooms, litter on floors, clogged drains, overgrown bushes and old furniture. He lamented that the image of schools today was no longer the same as 40 years ago.
"Without realising it, there is a lackadaisical attitude among pupils who are not bothered about their surroundings.
"And this attitude is fast becoming a national culture. We cannot allow this to spread further. Schools have a role to play to inculcate positive values in their pupils."
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