I always read in the newspaper that Malaysia strives to be the center of excellence in education in the region. I also came across many articles that Malaysia wants to be the education hub in Asia. I also read in lots of reading materials that Malaysia intends to attract up to 150,000 international students by the year 2015. Wow this is really an incredible feat. Can we really achieve it? I mean can we really achieve quality in education? I think we can but after looking at the Ministry of Higher Education's website I am really pessimistic and I really doubt that we can really be the center of excellence in education. One main reason why we have little chances of achieving the status is that the PTDs ( Pegawai Tadbir dan Diplomatik) are running the Ministry of Higher Education.
If you look at the organizational structure of the MOHE, the 3 top posts are run by PTDs or people who are have no background in education. I'm referring to important posts including the post of the KSU which means "Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian". It's the highest post in the ministry.I think if i'm not mistaken before being elevated to the post of KSU he was an officer at MAMPU or something of that sort. He probably had ample experience in running an organization that is non-teaching or non-education related entities. But I doubt he has the academic credential required of a KSU of an education ministry.The two timbalans KSU of the ministry are also PTD officers who have no experience in teaching and have never become teachers or instructors in the university.These people are probably transferred from the Ministry of trade and Industry or any other non- education related ministry. They are actually true blue administrators who are more appropriate and suitable in running non- education related organizations. But alas they are actually the ones deciding the future of education in the country. They seem to tell us that they are in the positions and in the know to run the education ministry. What a sad day for the ministry and the people who are truly into education namely the teachers and the lecturers.
These PTD officers are also going abroad to important conferences to give lectures propagating the directions of education that Malaysia is heading.Mind you these people have no experience at all in education and suddenly they are the ones representing Malaysia in important conferences and seminars. These PTD officers will touch on and discuss education but we know that they have no passion for teaching and they are not teachers or professors. I truly believe that we can have PTD officers in MOHE but their tasks should be confined to administrative matters and things related to handling of funds or money. Education matters should be run and managed by educationists namely teachers and academics and not PTD officers.
I have also heard that young inexperienced PTD officers who came in at M41 when the Ministry of Higher Education was created is now in grade M54 after only 10 years of service. They bypassed a lot of long serving DG and DH officers who are still in their 48 grade.These young PTD officers have little experience are now Pengarahs at the various levels of the Ministry of Higher Education and Department of Higher Education. The sad thing is that the really experience teachers especially those in the DH posts are sidelined and not considered for the pengarah's posts. It is not uncommon to see that the PTD officers have greater promotional prospects than those in the DG and the DH. Mind you quite a lot of these are experienced teachers have Masters and PhD's. It is also common to see that the PTD's Pengarahs just delegating or "tunjuk" ( pinpointing) to the DH officers of the the work to be done without any input for them to work on. They are more like the "keranis" (the clerks)-sad but true situation.
I'm skeptical of the future of higher education in Malaysia if the present structure of education still persists. The Ministry of Higher Education should be led by people who are into education and a true academic. The PTDs have no locus standi in education. I hope our Prime Minister and those concerned should look into this matter. Our future greatly depends on education.