GEORGE TOWN, May 16 (Bernama) — The positive values of being diligent, trustworthy and highly-disciplined should be inculcated among schoolchildren so that they can put it into practice from a young age and eventually become their culture of success, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He said these three values should be upheld and practised by all Malaysians to enable them to stay ahead and be successful in their respective fields.
“With these three values, we will be a successful nation,” he said when launching the National Teachers’ Day celebration at the Setia Spice Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas, near here today.
The prime minister said he still gave emphasis on the Look East Policy because the developed Eastern countries such as Japan and Korea were respected by the world not only because of their development but also due to the three values, as well as the spirit of patriotism, inculcated among their citizens.
“Teachers are being highly regarded by the people because teaching is a noble profession which is to ensure that the children are ready to face the challenges while upholding good values and universal principles,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said teachers should also prepare their students to face disruptive changes as a result of the implementation of new and advanced technologies.
He said the national education system facing such a challenge required a paradigm shift to ensure that it would remain relevant.
“The explosion of technology and the digital revolution have witnessed a drastic change in the global environment which requires the national education system to always be compatible with technology development,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the government’s commitment to ensuring that priority would be given to the education sector was proven with the allocation of RM60.2 billion or 19.1 per cent of the total budget this year.
“An allocation of RM2.9 billion has also been set aside as education aid to help the poor through food supply, textbooks and cash aid,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also called on teachers to continue to instil interest and awareness in mastering English, Science, Mathematics and Technology subjects in tandem with the government’s aspiration to make optimal use of the fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).
He said the government is currently focusing specifically on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes, which are capable of making a significant contribution to the country’s development in the face of Industry 4.0.
“The Ministry of Education as TVET provider must remain committed to empowering cooperation among industries and intensify collaboration across TVET institutions,” he said.
At the event, Dr Mahathir also presented the Tokoh Kepimpinan Pendidikan Kebangsaan 2019 Award to former Deputy Director-General of Education (Teaching Profession Development Sector) Datuk Asariah Mior Shaharuddin and the Tokoh Guru Kebangsaan 2019 Award to the former teacher of Sekolah Menengah Teknik Kuala Terengganu, Nawi Ismail.
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