The ‘Dialog Tiga Penjuru’ discussion on Astro Awani with Anuar Ahmad (centre), Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman (right) and Afif Bahardin.

PETALING JAYA: An academic has called for the decentralisation of the national education system to empower district education offices, headmasters and teachers to make key decisions involving their schools.

Anuar Ahmad, a lecturer with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s education faculty said there was a need to redesign the system and move away from centralised decision-making at the federal level.

During a “Dialog Tiga Penjuru” discussion on Astro Awani, he added that there were many teachers who were experts in the education field.

“You will find that many teachers have a PhD in education, but they are not empowered to make decisions.

“If you speak with them, they have a lot of views on how best to manage education issues at their local areas,” he said, adding that different localities had different education needs.

The other two panellists were former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Seberang Jaya assemblyman Afif Bahardin.

Both agreed with Anuar’s assessment that the national education system must move away from the one-size-fits-all policy.

Syed Saddiq said teachers and headmasters should be entrusted to make key decisions for their schools.

However, he said, as it stands, teachers themselves were not properly compensated for the additional work that they have to do.

“Apart from teaching their subjects they also need to act as security guards for the safety of children, manage co-curricular activities, be a clerk (for data entry) and they also need to adapt whenever there are changes in the system,” he added.

Meanwhile, Seberang Jaya assemblyman Afif Bahardian said autonomy should have been given to teachers a long time ago, but it must go hand in hand with leadership training and development to help these educators be properly equipped.

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