Sunday, August 7, 2011

Education System in Crisis?

I thought we've been in a crisis state for the last, can't remember for how long. But all I feel (and know) is our schools have been on the slide and the students coming out of our system do not seem to be any superior than before; if at all the word superior is suitable to be used as a comparison.

Education is crisis...it's falling into shambles, despite better facilities. Facilities do not necessarily translate into better products, I've realized. The quality of instruction matters a lot too. And at present, the level of competency can be questioned. Too much of a good thing also contributes to the crisis.

Recently, I've taken an interest in being vegetable sufficient. And to that end, I've been reading up all I can about urban farming. Tried the drip system... I thought it was the all solution. Water drips into the soil; and the plant can have all the water it needs. Then I read about the SIPs or sub irrigation planter system... I tried to incorporate both. I had two pots of mustard greens growing, one got slightly overwatered because I close the water outlet. But the other grew fine even though the pot was slightly small. I composted some stuff right at the bottom before planting and supplemented with organic fertilizers. In my overwatered box, some of my spring onions didn't spring cos the onions rotted in the over wet soil condition. My bean plants sprouted but didn't seem to grow. The success rate was very low. Many beans just rotted away. Too much good things overwhelms, even causes rot to set.

I am still experimenting with different ways to find the best method for each type of vegetables. I've discovered that the beans grow well in my vegetable patch outside my house. I hope they will bear beans in another month or so. My mint grows really well in the little strip of soil near my pagar. So these days, I make sure I compost some of my vegetable peelings there too so that the worms get plenty of sustenance. I'm constantly trying to look for a better solution.

We're still trying to make use of our pond water for tomatoes. The seedlings have sprouted but we've found out that our container might be a tardy too small. Anyway, we'll let it grow to its max and see whether it bears fruits.

Our education system is like vegetable cultivation. Different vegetables, different conditions, though the differences is sometimes rather subtle. One thing for sure, if we overwater, or over fertilize or over do anything, they don't grow well or die. That's what happening to our education system. We over do a lot of stuff. We over pamper the students, we overload the teachers with paperwork, we overstaff the teaching fraternity with too many mediocre, bordering not so competent people and we become over prihatin with the students. And the result is the crisis we're in. Also, we over mollycoddle our students. JPA scholarships, sub standard matriculation programs, laughable polytechnics... as a result, we can never hope to compare our polytechnics with those of our neighbor down south in the same breath. Ours feel more like a vocational school.

We had a good set of schools in the form of the former mission schools. But over the years, some powers that are saw to it that they never see their former glorious heydays again. Many policies are carried out with a racial bias. So, we move into a crisis state. And we keep lamenting without really wanting to admit to the root of the problem. Vegetables need a fair distribution of everything to grow well. You can add in stuff to enhance their growth but you should never over do them cos the minute you start doing that, their growth will be stunted or they might just go kaput. And that's exactly what's happening to our education system. Add that to a lousy 'farmer' who does not want to adapt and change or keep the way that works the best, the crisis becomes worse.

Education is crisis.... we're actually in quite a sorry state. Our Maths competency is just one bar to Low Proficiency, it seems. I find it easy to believe cos I am in the system and I see unbelievably dumbed down kids every day. The politicians have seen to it that most of us remain ignorant by shouting 'wolf' to the perceived threat that extra language skills bring to us. So where once we were way above the Chinese in English, today mainland Chinese speak English with such ruthless fluency that one might be forgiven to think that they are talking to a native speaker in English if one does not look at the face of the speaker. And so we continue to squabble or try to create squabbles while the rest of the world who used to be behind us forge ahead.

Education in crisis.... dumb and dumber... We pride ourselves in providing free education till 17. Statistic shows almost 1 in 4 fails to complete secondary school. And the remaining non academically inclined kids who stay on? They come out no better... no skills to show. And many come out with even worse attitudes.... from the years of lazing in the classes.

1 comment:

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

We have been trailing for a loooong time, no thanks to the education system.