The public school system is heading down the drain


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The public school system is heading down the drain
By Zan Azlee

My eldest daughter is currently still in kindergarten and has another two years to go before she enters the primary school system in Malaysia. I’m thankful and worried at the same time.

Thankful because she still has another two years of innocence before I have to worry about her being thrown into a questionable education system.

But I’m also very worried because she only has another two years of innocence before she gets thrown into a questionable education system.

Today’s news of the SPM candidate who committed suicide believed to be because he was so affected by the fact that he couldn’t answer a question in the Additional Mathematics paper is a concern.

Are so exam oriented that results of how we answer test questions becomes the end all and be all? Whatever happened to wanting to educate the youth to be holistic and well-rounded individuals?

In school, I have memories of teachers drilling us with sample exam questions almost on a daily basis. Discussions and discourse were rare, and if it did happen, it would be about exam questions.

That’s why I also remember my father would always try to divert me away from exams. Every time an exam was coming up, he would take me out to a movie, bowling or whatever to take my mind off it.

And during report card day, he would tell the teachers to brief him on how I socialised with friends or what ideas I come with when I talk to the teachers, than how I performed in the monthly quizzes.

I guess I was lucky to have parents that had the right priorities when it came to their children’s education and they didn’t leave it solely on the government’s education system.

What is even more worrying is the news that have been coming out that is just too absurd and ridiculous. And this is really making me worried about releasing my daughters into the government’s education system.

A few weeks ago, there was a news report that stated a school in Setapak wanting to segregate the Muslim students from the non-Muslims. Their excuse is because it makes it easier to schedule the time table because of the shortage of teaching staff.

I definitely would like to insert a few expletive and offensive words here in response to that but I think I would rather be wise and not do so. But I am definitely going to express my anger over it.

The government education system has a responsibility to promote racial and religious harmony and understanding. By suggesting such a move, it would mean devolving as human beings. Those people who suggested this idea are idiots.

Then, there are the reports that the recent Moral Education SPM exam paper contained questions that are politically motivated. It was a closed paper so it cannot be confirmed, but students were talking about it consistently on social media.

Apparently, there were questions based on an image of someone putting anti-government posters and he was persuading another person to join him by offering him money to do so.

What is the exam paper trying to imply? That it is wrong to be anti-government? Or is it that anyone who is anti-government corrupt? Anyway, I wonder how the examiners are suppose to grade that question.

Now back to my original concern. Yes, I am very worried of my daughters going into the public school system. I was hoping to be like my parents and be the balance that my kids need. But I don’t know if that would be enough.

[This article originally appeared at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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