By STEPHEN NG

TRUTH put it bluntly, I have lost confidence in our education system.

As much as we were all hyped up after May 9, 2018 about our education system being restored to its previous glory, I have little choice now but to pull out my children from the national school system.

Despite having to work much harder to afford their private education, I think it can only be for their own good.

With the blunders that I see in the past one-and-half year, I see little hope in the Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik to turn things around to improve our education system.

Let me elaborate:

From my observations, all the blunders that he has made go to show that Maszlee has little or no experience in running a ministry, what’s more the education ministry, which is one of the key ministries in the hearts of all Malaysians.

In my opinion, Dr Maszlee has only been a university lecturer prior to his appointment. He hardly has any administrative experience at the senior level; therefore, his appointment was a poor decision to put someone with no proper qualifications or experience to run an important ministry.

While there are many more qualified people in Pakatan Harapan (and outside the coalition), Maszlee was probably picked because there are no good candidates in Bersatu. This is at least the opinion of a number of parents that I have spoken to.

To quote a simple example, you cannot implement swimming and expect hoteliers to offer their swimming pools as part of their corporate social responsibility. Only an idiot would even think that is ever possible!

Not to mention about all the other policies that were implemented without going through some thorough discussions, his latest blunder was to even make a comment on the abolishment of Science stream at the secondary school level – and that, to an international community!

Such a word should not have even come out from his mouth, as the suggestion has not been deliberated thoroughly.

To add salt to the wound, his suggestion to implement free breakfast for all children will be costing millions, if not billions, when the money could have been used for more meaningful upgrade of the school facilities. After all, not all children will eat their breakfast.

Rojak Curriculum

When you abolish the streaming, you will end up with a rojak curriculum, where kids become jack of all trades, master of none. Their grounding in the sciences or the arts would not be strong enough for them to survive their university education.

Already the national syllabus is rojak at its best – with more subjects and topics being introduced every year. I cannot imagine my children having to go through the next 10 years of their education learning things that are not relevant for their careers.

Just think how the schools continue to cramp knowledge into a 10-year-old child with two or three languages, science and mathematics, plus a host of the other subjects such as Health Science, Physical Education, Architecture (reka bentuk), Moral and Civics Education, Information Technology, Arts & Craft, History, Geography and on top of this, the Arabic Khat, Jawi and Chinese calligraphy and knowledge about the general election incorporated into the school syllabus.

On top of this, some school principals especially in Chinese schools are adding more burden to the children by asking parents to buy more workbooks than allowable by the ministry.

When my son was in Standard Three, I was shocked to find out that he had 21 workbooks and when he went into Standard Four, along with his additional workbooks and resource books, for Bahasa Malaysia alone, he had to go through a total of 440 pages for just one subject.

By comparison, schools conducting international syllabi such as IGCSE, for example, only require the kids to concentrate on four or five subjects. They focus only on the key areas that will help fulfil their prerequisites for a university education, while the rest can be learnt as a hobby instead of being taught in a classroom situation.

My Rationale

Although our original plan was to allow our children to go through Chinese education in their primary, in order to learn the language, I dread to think that they would have to struggle with Mandarin in their first six years of their education, and later, continue struggling with Bahasa Malaysia, before entering into a university where everything is taught in English.

Instead of mastering a certain career that would help them earn their living, they would forever be struggling with their languages, which could in fact be learnt, as a hobby.

Like it or not, for Malaysia to compete internationally, we still need the international languages that are widely used across the world without, of course, as I always said, neglecting Bahasa Malaysia or the mother tongue which has its place in the country.

One reason why many of our graduates are not employable is because they cannot even express themselves properly. Clearly, if one cannot write a convincing letter to prove that he is employable, the job is for others who can do it well.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008. After May 9, 2018, he is now involved in contributing ideas towards rebuilding of the nation.

— BebasNews
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2 COMMENTS

  1. To be honest, I personally think that abolishment of science stream and arts was a good idea. But in order for this to be a successful decision,the ministry must ensures that the basic of ever student from kindergarten right up till form 3 is well secured. Once they reach form 4, it’s up to the kids especially and parents as well to pick subject which your kids find a liking to and most importantly are interested to make career out of it. The syllabus especially for science and maths related subjects must on par or even higher then the international syllabus. The usage of English must be mandatory for all science, maths and arts relayed subjects. I could agree on you the high amount of work mounted on the student at a young age is wrong. So, I suggest the mandatory subject that must be taught during their primary school are BM,English,Maths,science and art. When they enter highschool, subject like BI,BM,Maths, history, science, living skill must be mandatory for all Malaysia students. Also the ministry should make it more harder for being qualified a teacher. This would help to get the best teacher in Malaysia.

  2. Truth be told, that our education system is defintely in want.
    Having a system not in place with the international standard and dislodged objectives serves no purpose in the 21st century learning platform.

    For one, the lower primary should only concentrate on learning languages – Bahasa Malaysia as the National Language, English Language as it will serve as the medium of instruction, and Additional People’s Own Language.

    In addition to the languages, Mathematics and Science should be the only subjects taught. All these subjects should be taught with a progressive assessment.

    The Upper Primary should have a strong curriculum in the four main subjects, namely Bahasa Malaysia, English Language, Mathematics and Science as the core Subjects with assessments in Year 4 and 5 and standardize examination in Year 6.
    The upper primary should also include Humanities (History and Geography) and Arts. In addition, there should be a new subject under Citizenship with moral values, civics, general knowledge, digital technology etc. All these additional subjects should not have any examinations but only assessments.

    The Lower Secondary should start with the indepth of the four core subjects with the inclusion and infusion of Digital Technolgy. Humanities can now be segregrated to History and Geography with examinations.
    Along with that subjects basic Accounts should be included to give exposure to the students and indirectly plan towards the demands of the workforce and the 21st century learning standards.
    In addition, English should play a vital role as the medium of instruction at all times.

    These subjects’ that are offered and the curriculum should be of world standard so that our future students and future leaders can stand head and shoulder above others or at least, on par.
    In the Upper Secondary, there should be a selection of subjects but that should involve profesional councellors, teachers, schools, parents to guide students to decide or opt for any specific subjects after a wide exposure to the subjects from primary and mainly secondary stages.
    I believe if the blueprint is chartered into this area by well being profesionals and experts of every field, this can not only be visualize by carried out.

    Who then would want to carry this mandate to upstage our current education, curriculum and system and give a new lease of hope for our nation.

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