Accelerating Education Reform through Collective Education Experiences

Accelerating Education Reform through Collective Education Experiences

(From left) Research Engagement and Impact Pro Vice-Chancellor Mahendhiran Nair; Senator Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian; Sunway Education Group Chief Executive Officer Dato' Prof Elizabeth Lee; Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin; Sunway University President Prof Sibrandes Poppema; Group Registrar Ng Bean Lean; and Sunway University Provost Prof Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam.


Sunway Education Group (SEG) and the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (ASLI) jointly held an Education Summit themed “Accelerating Education Reform Through Collective Experiences” at Sunway University.

The event brought together policymakers, educators, NGOs, academia, student leaders and various stakeholders to gain insights and share ideas on the latest education trends, challenges, and opportunities on education reform specially with the Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin.

In his keynote address, Radzi described his efforts for a holistic, value-driven education system implemented since the beginning of his role in Malaysia.

Amongst the list of initiatives that he highlighted were: digital education, on how digitalisation can help to enhance our delivering and prepare our children with the compatible skills in the world of digitalisation; enhancing the infrastructure in school, especially making internet accessible for all schools; nurturing and focusing on the growth of the children - the idea of ‘Sekolahku Sejahtera’ with the 14 value concepts to educate students to understand values such as ethics, integrity, rational thinking, articulation and more.

Sunway Group founder and chairman Tan Sri Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah has always believed that quality education and ethical values are the building blocks that shape the destiny of an individual, a society and a nation.

“In a future expected to be dominated by robots and Artificial Intelligence, I believe we must shift our focus to promoting mind-sets trained to advance capacities such as critical thinking, entrepreneurship, creativity and cultural agility.

“In a world where knowledge is available at the click of a button, the concept of life-long learning takes on new meaning. Education does not end with graduation and scroll.

“Hence, it is crucial that we design an education system that teaches our children to nurture their imagination and curiosity. That helps them inculcate the mind-set and habits of life-long learning.

“There’s also a need to nurture qualities such as leadership, passion, teamwork and inclusiveness. Inclusiveness in Malaysia and Asia is especially important due to our diversity.

“These attributes are increasingly listed by companies as what they are looking for in hiring talents.”

Esteemed speakers include University of Cambridge pro-vice chancellor (strategy and planning) Prof David Cardwell; Nicol David Organisation founder Datuk Nicol Ann David, Indonesia Education, Culture, Research and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim; and Stanford School of Medicine Adjunct Professor in Genetics and MIT Alumni Angels director Dr Ronjon Nag.

Educators continue to experience challenges in providing quality education, ensuring equitable access regardless of gender, belief, and socioeconomic background, as well as providing necessary resources for educators to nurture our future generations.

There is no denying that education reform has been happening with the recent Covid-19 experience witnessing efforts accelerated – borne out of necessity as much as need.

Education systems globally, among others, adopt hybrid teaching and learning, abolish examinations, inculcate values-based learning, bringing industry into the classrooms, and introduce Education for Sustainable Development, in line with Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDG Academy plays a fundamental role in Mission 4.7, which was launched by Pope Francis in December 2020.

This year, Sunway has taken the first step towards this mission by integrating an SDG module into each student’s learning experience here at Sunway institutions. The module is designed jointly by the SDG Academy, the Jeffrey Sachs Centre and Sunway University.

For the past three decades, the education summits by ASLI have been an important and inspiring platform for education stakeholders to come together and engage in the sharing of knowledge and discussion on our nation’s future.

This event was sponsored by Experian and JobStreet by SEEK making it accessible across Malaysia and all around the world.

ASLI is Malaysia’s leading independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit think-tank. Founded in 1993, ASLI is the definitive voice of strategy and leadership in the country, having through the years, provided strategic and trusted insights to governments, businesses and diplomatic communities.


Originally published in The Star, 7 November 2022.