ACCREDITATION OF COURSES IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
7 July 2021
It is indeed alarming and a great setback for all the students involved when any course, or any particular area of certification, is not recognised. Worse still, when the accreditation of the courses, certificates, diplomas or degrees are revoked, and therefore not recognised.
I looked up the statistics and found that in Malaysia, there are currently 20 public universities, 47 private universities, 34 university colleges, 414 private colleges, and 10 foreign university branch campuses. That, to me, seems to be an unusually large number of approvals to be given, in the area of private colleges!
But, the most important questions are, who and how are the curricula vetted? How are they being benchmarked in order to be able to produce market-relevant graduates? What criteria are being used to give the accreditation of the relevant course?
Private educational institutions are essential, business entities. But, ethical business dictates that there is integrity in every course being offered and taught, and of every certificate, diploma and degree being conferred.
The relevant authorities, particularly the ministry of higher education.
Has the responsibility of ensuring that every educational institution, whether public or private, subscribe and adhere to global standards, with no watering down of course contents, or lowering of standards? Any aberration will result in wasted time and effort of the students as their qualifications will not be recognised.
The nation also loses as the supply of human resources coming out from some educational institutions in the country will not match the type and quality of market demand. The ministry of higher education must undertake a proper evaluation of each and every entity in the education system, whether public or private, and ensure the appropriate follow up action.
Do not be buoyed by numbers like the proudly touted 623 PhD graduates, in 2019 alone, from one university! It was a" world record", sadly for the wrong reasons! It is the quality and marketability of the students that matters most.
They are being depended upon to move Malaysia forward with the relevant education and knowledge imparted to them, creativity and innovativeness being nurtured, and the competencies forged, to elevate national development, up on to a higher plane. They will be our future civil servants, functionaries in both the public and private sectors, policy shapers and implementers, and future parents, who will, in turn, forge the values and mindsets of the generations after them.
As such, today's education system, infrastructure, and delivery modes and content must ensure that they meet the imperatives of the operating environment. The entire education spectrum itself must adapt and adjust with agility, to the new demands of society and the marketplace.
TAN SRI RAFIDAH AZIZ
FORMER FEDERAL MINISTER