Malaysia Education Blueprint: Weighing Unity Against Diversity

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Nation-building strategies all over the world have education as a central element. Malaysia is no different. However, the multicultural nature of the population means that education has always been a hugely controversial and highly sensitive subject. The latest blueprint must also consider the question: is diversity a benefit or a dilemma?

The Deputy Prime Minister recently launched the draft version of the Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025) with great fanfare. With that, the Education Ministry seeks feedback prior to launching its final version in December this year. I had the privilege of attending a focus group session at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Isis) earlier this week to discuss how the education system can better cater to the objectives of national unity and multiculturalism, in light of the blueprint. This article explores only issues insofar as these twin objectives are concerned – what the blueprint contains on the matter, and the role of the Penang and Selangor state governments in this matter.


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