Response to Ministry of Education’s Request for Feedback

Response to Ministry of Education’s Request for Feedback

Date: 20th May 2012

The NECIC is grateful to the Education Ministry for requesting feedback from the public and organisations on the needs and services to be provided to children. The National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC) is a registered coalition of parents, therapists and professionals from a large variety of NGOs and government agencies that are involved in and advocating for early childhood intervention as a right and is keen that to optimise the learning and development of children with special needs.

While there are many pressing issues for education reform from syllabus content, to homework volume, an unhealthy focus on examinations, rote learning, etc, the NECIC would like to bring to the attention of the Education Ministry and the public the large proportion of children which have special education needs.

Data and experience show that, if children who reach the primary school going age (6 years) are not school-ready, they enter school with problems and are difficult for schools and teachers to handle. The gap than continues to widen as they grow. Children can be roughly divided into three groups in terms of their education ability/needs.

70-80% of children usually do not have not much barrier to learning. These are however the children are the one who received most of the educational resources in our country.

3-5% children have a major disability and are identified early by health professionals, usually at birth or before the age of 5 years. These include children with multiple or severe disabilities who would need specific special education. Generally there is some provision for them in our education system, although the quality and distribution (access) of the services is questionable.

15-20% children have more subtle problems. These children have milder disabilities or problems specific learning disorders (e.g. Dyslexia), high functioning Autism, ADHD, emotional problems, environmental deprivation (poor social background), etc. They are children with a normal intelligence with many barriers to education. They are often identified at school entry or a little later. They often present as behaviour problems, poor school performance, school failure, etc. Early and meaningful help and educational support for this group of children is limited.

The NECIC would like the Education Ministry and the public to recognise this third, large group of children, that our current education programme is failing. Teachers are unable to deal with these children in the large main stream classes. With the KPI (key performance index linked to promotion) of teachers being full literacy at Standard 3, there has been a large move by teachers all over the country to send these children for a medical assessment and push for them to be registered as OKU. This is inappropriate as we cannot be labelling 20% or more of our children disabled.

The problem is more with the system and KPIs than with the children. Imagine if the KPI of every government doctor was that no patient should die in their care. What would happen is that doctors will start transferring very ill patients to other hospitals or encouraging them to go home. Similarly we are now trying to achieve full literacy at Standard 3 by conveniently excluding a significant proportion of our children.

The experience from other countries has shown that have also struggled with similar problems. Their approach has been to include all children within main-stream education (aliran perdana) and not segregate them to a disability syllabus. Can we please emulate the models/ideas from these countries which include: Recruiting the best school students to be teaching professionals; Providing the best teachers for the most educationally challenged kids; Offering better school environments for children with education needs with smaller class in main stream; Not registering them as disabled but recognising that they have special needs.

The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. The NECIC would like to advocate for our best teachers and the education system to support our weakest children so that a nation of 1Malaysia, we all move forward without leaving any behind.

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh (President)

Ms Khor Aina (Vice-President)

National Early Childhood Intervention Council

(Note: This statement was prepared collectively by NGOs represented in the NECIC)

Statement in Chinese: NECIC 非政府组织代表联合声明

全国早期儿童疗育执委会(Majlis Kebangsaan Intervensi Awal Kanak-Kanak or the National Early Childhood Intervention Council), 简称NECIC,由多个非政府组织及政府部门的人员,当中包括家长、治疗师及专业人士,组成的一个注册联盟。执委会成立的目的是提倡儿童接受早期疗育的权 利以及让特殊儿童尽其所能的学习和发育。

NECIC 感谢教育部要求公众及民间团体反映儿童的需要与服务。



70 – 80%的儿童在学习上不会面临太多的困难。目前他们是获得最多教育资源的一群。

3 – 5%的儿童有重度障碍。这些通常在出生之后到五岁前早就被护疗人员确认有障碍的状况,并得到帮助。只是素质及其普及性还有待改进。

15 – 20% 的儿童有较不显著的问题。他们有轻微的障碍或特定的学习障碍(如:阅读障碍),高功能自闭症或称亚斯伯格症,专注力短缺过动症,情绪问题,环境恶劣(贫困 家庭背景)等。这群儿童有正常的智力但却在学习上面对许多的阻碍,而且往往在入学后才被鉴察有此等状况。他们常被形容为有行为问题,学习表现差等。这群儿 童所获得的及时与有效的教育援助非常有限。


在国家关键成效指标(KPI)要求学校确保三年级生百分之百通过识字测试的效应下,大量的家长被教师要求带孩子到诊所进行 “特殊儿童”鉴定及注册为OKU(Orang Kurang Upaya)。(注: 被医生鉴定“特殊儿童”的学生可豁免参加LINUS测试。)这是不妥当的做法,因为我们不可能把20%的儿童标签为“特殊儿童”。

我们认为制度与关键绩效指标的问题大于儿童的问题。试想,若政府医生的关键绩效指标是没有病人在他们照顾之下死亡,会发生什么状况?相信医生们可能会开始 把病危的病人转移到其他医院,或鼓励把病危的亲人带回家。同样的,我们现在为了达到三年级生100%通过识字测试的目标的做法就是尽量把这20%的儿童排 除在外。


  • 录取最优秀的学生入师训受训为教师;
  • 提供最优秀的教师教导最有学习障碍的儿童;
  • 为有特殊教育需要的儿童提供更佳的学习环境,让他们继续在主流教育内并以小班制上课
  • 不把他们注册为有特殊需要但关注他们的特殊需要。



Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh (主席)

许爱娜 (副主席)



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