Thursday, May 20, 2010

What is Education?

I look around the 'madness' that surrounds me and I wonder whether we are truly educating our kids. School kids have maddening schedules these days - school, extra classes and tuition. Then the kids have their own extra-extra 'co-curricular' activities like music and games. The latter I don't count into the maddening schedule cos they are optional.

So what is education? Today, I think I can safely say it's the number of A(s) one can ace in their exams. A(s) equals brain prowess...... that's how success is measured these days. And with the brain prowess you can learn to make deals... watch the video below.

Education should be about teaching our kids how to fish. But what we've been doing is giving them the fish... and then we teach them how to exchange the fish for other fish.... Immediate after school hours are filled with extra classes. Time after that is filled with tuition. Kids are 'forced' to study and study.... study does not equal learning.... mind you.

What is education then? A likely education scenario. In schools, students are taught that junk food is no good. As such, school canteens are not allowed to sell junk food. We want to educate our kids in business skills. Cooperatives are encouraged to be formed in schools. Its presence is meant to educate and give exposure to students about doing business; ethically.

Back to junk food... MOE guidelines say no junk food to be sold in school. So canteen operator who is not a school staff adheres to it... has to cos if she breaches that, no chance of a re-tender the following year. But what if the school cooperative sells junk? And school cooperatives are run by school staff. On one hand, we teach kids no junk food, we say cannot sell junk food but the other hand sells... and the head stays silent. Selling goes against prescribed guidelines. Yet teachers who are in charge says never mind. And fairness... to the canteen operator who have to deal with losses when kids don't buy from her. War for the hearts of of kids from junk food is a losing war. And so I learned, like everything else, fairness is no big deal. So canteen operator voices unhappiness cos her business is affected.... head remains silent. Conclusion; maybe we're in the business of teaching mixed signals... ethics be damned.

A lot of what we do is for show. A lot of documentation done is decorative. I could go on some more... of things like APCs (Service Awards) given to those who don't make much sense to students in class or those who run their own businesses in school or even those who take substantial number of MCs.... these days it's a lot to do with "I scratch my back, you scratch mine"... shouldn't be a surprise too I guess since our PM promotes such kind of culture... culture of understanding from what I gather from my reading lately.... Listen and be entertained... LOL!

This, I guess is what we meant by education, I supposed. I hope I am wrong! Maybe we are teaching them how to fish... but with lots of cheat modes incorporated... you know... kinda like the bomb the fish out of the water method... lots of fish you get... but with collateral damages included.


Dino said...

WTF? That is bribery by Najib!!!!

AJ7 said...

That's our PM teaching us... so is it a wonder that our school system is rotting?? Rot always starts from the head.

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Rotten to the core speech!!!

Thomas C B Chua said...

AJ &, I like the expression, "..teachers who do not make much sense...." I had (past tense) seen lots of them, and mentally lopsided ones too. Anyhow, swim on. Don't rot with the rest of the apples.

Daniel said...

Ya, every politician want to look good. Every time a new guy go into the KPM, they like to decorate themselves with huge numbers of As for SPM...Education has been politicized.


Time flies... that's when days are filled with things to do. 24 hours feel rather short now but some day, I guess 24 hours in a day will...