Monday, March 26, 2012

Makes No Sense

10 or 11 years of schooling and what have we to show? A glaring lack of language skills. This year, 4 out of my 5 classes are 'bottom' classes of their respective forms and teaching English to them is horrendous; how I ended up with these classes is another long story. More than half the time in class is spent going after them, chasing their attitude. When attitude fails, everything else slows down to a sickening crawl. That goes the same for us, teachers too.

I've tried different ways to make them understand. Breaking into digestible length, writing out meanings, highlighing in different colours... the progress is exceedingly slow. I think it's a hopeless cause. Read, explain, read some more, explain some more.... I am not getting anywhere. And they don't seem to want to see the light at the end of the tunnel. One or two of the 17-year olds seemed to want to snap out of their stupor, but not having much success. Their doors to their 'central processing unit' seems be wedged with too many things. The key to their CPU is rusty and cannot seem to turn. Well, if they could, I guess we'll be needing lots of WD40 lubricant too. And the public wonder why PPSMI cannot work. It could have never worked in most schools. The comprehension is simply not there. And the kids, especially the boys are bored. They become disruptive. They can see through teachers most of the time. Talk to a slightly smarter kid and he'll be able to tell you the disdain and lack of respect they have for their teachers. And mind you, a lot of what they say hold water.

The quality of teachers play a very important role. There are way too many teachers who cannot discipline their classes because they care (or pretend to care) in the wrong way. Actually whether one cares is entirely a different matter. What matters is the ethics.... the right work ethics must be there. Teaching hardly can take place if a class cannot sit through the lesson.... and that's a major problem which I see now. Many teachers do not seem to mind that their students are talking and even moving about as lessons proceed.

Classes in schools like mine are often unruly. And I think that's a norm. There is apathy, from both ends but however one views it, the kids lose out and our country emerges the biggest loser cos these are our future workers. A friend of mine said someting which I think is most true... Teachers' apathy and frustrations... A lot of them stem from inept leadership. Makes no sense how our politicians keep harping on our 'world class education'... Our recent best in the 5 years SPM results is one such example. There were almost 600 straight A+(s) out of the more than 10 000 straight As for the total exam. We are a brilliant nation going by our exam results... but 60% of our local graduates don't make the grade of what constitutes employability. I guess one can infer from the results that we have more than a fair share of geniuses than the norm..... Then again, if one were to take a good look at the exam slips, there is something quite telling there. A student can score an A for English, marked according to our local standards. Yet it is also not uncommon to see the GCE-O grade (on the same exam slip) which is also based on the same answer script with a 4B grade or even lower. Our A can be equivalent to a 4B GCE-O level (or worse than that). Go figure the discrepancy... And then try taking public exams from Singapore or Korea or even Taiwan and compare it with the rest of the world and see. Or just be dumbly flummoxed...

And some people claim that the passing mark these days for Add Math is lower than 10! With such kind of grading, how do we separate the really talented ones from the rest. And a whole bunch of kids go through SPM thinking that they are really good..... Ah well, this is typical Malaysia Boleh way...

1 comment:

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

The truth is out there. We cannot be boasting of world beaters in Bolehland year in and year out!