RAISING OUR NATION’S EDUCATION STANDARDS
Malaysia spends a significant amount of its annual budget on education. Yet, student performance data from 2010 indicates that Malaysia lags behind other countries with similar or lower levels of expenditure per student. Studies show that in high-performing systems, principals who have autonomy to shape the learning environment in their schools play a critical role in improving the quality of teaching and learning1.
In 2010, Khazanah established Yayasan AMIR to partner with the Ministry of Education in developing a comprehensive and scalable public school transformation model that sustainably improves student outcomes. The model, known as the Trust Schools Programme (TSP), focuses on improving overall school management, curriculum and education delivery. It enhances students’ communication and critical thinking skills while providing them with a more holistic education to enable them to survive and grow in a globally competitive world. LeapEd Services Sdn Bhd (LeapEd), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah, is the design and implementation partner of Yayasan Amir for the TSP.
The year 2013 marked the end of the “transforming phase” for the pilot cohort of Trust Schools in the states of Johor and Sarawak after three full years of intensive up-skilling and capacity building at the schools. In the meantime, three primary schools in the Klang Valley joined the Trust Schools Network (TSN) in 2013, increasing the total to 13.
In 2013, Yayasan AMIR commissioned University of Melbourne’s Centre for Programme Evaluation to independently assess the TSP. The assessment evaluated the progress that the TSP had made towards achieving its four goals of (i) developing leadership; (ii) improving the quality of teaching and learning; (iii) maximising student achievement; and (iv) strengthening the engagement of parents, community and stakeholders, as well as to inform on future planning and direction for the programme.
The assessment found an increasing trend in all teaching competencies. The results suggest the impact of the TSP on the teacher is most readily seen in their increased proficiency as educators and leaders of learning. The findings also highlight that principals are more satisfied, engaged and enthusiastic, and are moving towards strategic planning roles. Students too are more confident and engaged, and are learning through a more collaborative and independent process, with pockets of improved academic achievement.
The TSP will continue to be Yayasan AMIR’s vehicle to improve the quality of education in Malaysian public schools. Yayasan AMIR hopes that the TSN will become a benchmark of educational excellence and influence systematic transformation of education in Malaysia. In 2014, the pilot cohort of Trust Schools will begin transitioning into the monitoring and sustaining phase in accordance with the TSP’s gradual release model. Schools that joined in 2013 will continue in the transformation phase and build staff capacity to incorporate best practices within their activities.
The new state transformation implementation pilot in Johor has seen the expansion of the TSN to 13 new public schools in the state. In the Klang Valley, four more schools have joined the TSN, increasing the cumulative number of Trust Schools from 13 to 30 in 2014. The TSP will be expanded into these new schools through the participation of Corporate Malaysia. The new supporters include Yayasan Daya Diri, UEM Group and Westports Malaysia. Yayasan AMIR hopes more companies will join this national effort for the collective good.
1 Refer to Malaysia Education Blueprint, p. 3-12 and p. 5-15.
2 Only coverst the 10 pilot Trust Schools. These indicators measure the percentage improvement in the respective competency scores recorded by the TSP teachers between February 2012 and September 2-13
* This figure was verified by EY in its 2013 Assurance Report for Khazanah Nasional’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report.