Issues and Challenges
3.3 The current secondary education structure has raised several issues including the different number of schooling years as compared to most other countries, a curriculum that is too broad in scope, the choice of exiting from formal schooling after the Malaysia Certificate of Education (SPM), and the unstandardised entrance qualifications into institutions of higher learning. To overcome these issues, it is pertinent for the MOE to restructure the current secondary education structure from a 3+2+2 system to a 4+2 system.
3.4 With regards to increasing access to secondary education, the MOE faces the issue of significant attrition rate of students from Form 1 to Form 5 (20% for the 1996-2000 cohort). The MOE also faces the issues of low participation rate in the science stream (27.7% for the year 2000) which is far from the targeted ratio of 60 percent in science and technology compared to 40 percent in arts; the issue of decreasing enrolment rate for the Form 6 programme; and the challenge of increasing opportunities for secondary education for students who are poor and with long-term health problems.
3.5 To increase equity in secondary education, the MOE faces the challenge of fulfilling the increasing demands for residential, religious, and technical/vocational schools. The MOE needs to focus on rural secondary schools that are facing more infrastructure development problems and are more dependant on government allocation as compared to urban secondary schools; and problems of teacher deployment according to option and location; and the need to ensure all secondary school teachers are university graduates by 2010.
3.6 To improve the quality of secondary education, the MOE faces the challenge of improving and strengthening the present secondary education programmes as well as introducing new ones. The improvement of quality in secondary education covers aspects such as curricular and co-curricular activities, science and technology education, English language, infrastructure, teaching aids, student assessment, student welfare, quantity and quality of teachers, and pecial education.