Private sector to adopt trust schools

TEN trust schools, to be adopted by private companies, will be selected before the end of the year.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the scheme was a private sector corporate social responsibility initiative.

“This is like an adopted school scheme, in which companies express their interest in helping the schools. This will be known as trust schools,” he said after the tabling of the 10th Malaysia Plan in Parliament.

Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, said the ministry had discussed the initiative with Khazanah Nasional and several private companies.

This initiative, he added, would start with 10 schools – five low performers, three average and two top performers.

“The private sector wants to help schools and we cannot say this is not necessary,” he said, adding that the ministry would however remain in charge of the schools.

Muhyiddin said the ministry was also working out details on how the schools could be assisted without contravening the Education Act by giving them flexibility in certain areas.

Under the plan, a trust school will be introduced to enable public-private partnership in the management of selected Government schools.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government would provide these schools with greater autonomy in decision-making and in return, there would be greater accountability in improving student performances.

The autonomy, Najib added, would include flexibility to modify the learning curriculum, allocation use, providing incentives to teachers in line with their performance and selection of teachers and support staff.

Muhyiddin also said the age of schoolgoing children was lower in many countries.

The lowering of schoolgoing age would carry a big implication in teacher supply.

“It’s not a problem but we need to prepare,” he said, adding that it would mean about 1.5mil children entering the education system, over a million more from the current number of between 500,000 and 600,000 pupils.

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