Academic journal article Asian Social Science

A Glimpse into School Self-Evaluation in Malaysia: Are We Doing the Right Things? or Are We Doing the Things Right?

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

A Glimpse into School Self-Evaluation in Malaysia: Are We Doing the Right Things? or Are We Doing the Things Right?

Article excerpt


The focus of this paper is on the policy and implementation of School Self-Evaluation (SSE) conducted in Malaysian schools. It begins by having an overall look on what school evaluation is including its definition, purposes, link to external evaluation and also instruments which are used throughout the world. It then traces the history of SSE in Malaysia. Next, it discusses the policy underlining the SSE as dictated by the Ministry of Education Malaysia. This paper further explores the reality behind the implementation of this form of internal evaluation whilst linking it with school inspection conducted by the Inspection Body under the Ministry of Education Malaysia. By doing so, it will also try to capture some of the SSE concepts which embody its implementation. Then, it analyses the manner of how SSE is done by highlighting some important issues that need to be dealt with accordingly by the relevant authorities. Finally, it concludes by discussing the future of SSE in Malaysia.

Keywords: school self-evaluation, school inspection, policy, implementation

1. Introduction

Malaysia is embarking on a mission of reaching Vision 2020 in order to become a fully developed nation by the year 2020. One of Malaysia's biggest and fundamental assets needed to achieve this vision is its human capital. Therefore the Ministry of Education (MOE) bears a lot of responsibilities in moulding Malaysia's desired human capitals (Malaysia, 2010). MOE's vision is to provide an equal opportunity for all Malaysian children to receive a quality education. It is one of the five outcomes that MOE aspires to achieve by the end of 2025: access, equity, unity and efficiency (Malaysia, 2012). In order to ensure all these desired outcomes are displayed in its school systems, MOE has to conduct various evaluations. One of the evaluation method used is school self-evaluation (SSE).

Thus, it is important to cast a critical look into its implementation in Malaysia in order to ensure that SSE plays its role effectively. An analysis of Malaysia's policy and implementation of SSE explored in this paper will perhaps reveal an interesting reflection to the MOE. Apart from that, an in-depth discussion is needed by exploring briefly the roles of the various key players in Malaysian education system. It is the aim of this paper to at least raise some issues that need to be considered seriously.

2. What Is SSE?

2.1 Definition

Throughout the years, SSE has indeed gained a lot of supporters worldwide claiming that it is vital in ensuring quality education with a strong recommendation by most researchers of the things to do and don't (Vanhoof et al., 2009; Schildkamp et al., 2009; MacBeath, 2006; Demetrious & Kyriakides, 2012). SSE is considered as an attempt involving various changes made by the schools in order to ensure a better teaching and learning environment, improve students' academic achievement and also strengthen the schools' ability to implement those changes (Hopkins, 2005). It encompasses of changes done towards the schools' policy, structures, norms, concepts, habits and patterns of work (Lander & Eckholm, 2005; Vanhoof et al., 2011; McNamara & O'Hara, 2008). In fact, it requires the schools to play an active and autonomous role while involving themselves in the processes of improvement and building capacity (Bubb et al., 2007).

SSE adheres to a systematic and structured form of evaluation which relies on a range of evidence gathered from all the concerned stakeholders in the schools (Plowright, 2008). It involves a cycle of several activities such as setting the schools' direction, planning, evaluating and identifying various improvements steps (Hofman et al, 2009). MacBeath (2009) lists out several key elements that define what SSE is all about. One of them is schools themselves conduct an assessment in order to identify the quality and effectiveness of their functions and responsibilities. …

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