Friday, May 3, 2013

Fix Our Schools

Fix our schools... that's what I think we need to do, if we are to stand a chance of righting the wrongs of the last few decades. Fixing our schools would probably fix our society; our society which built on racial lines which divides than unite. We have so many different types of schools. Our students are divided along racial lines. Our education system has been watered and dumbed down. Yet our leaders keep hailing it as among the best, even when international assessments show us to be regressing.

Fix our our schools.... perhaps that would give our young a chance to grow up together, as Malaysians and not as Malays, Indians, Chinese and so on first. Instead of having so many types of schools, have one where people need not fear about their identity because we aim only to build one identity - to be Malaysians. Al schools should get equal funding. These days exclusivity of schools comes with other names too - cluster school, high performing schools and so on. Oh yes! I forgot the residential schools... And so those fortunate enough to get into such schools continue to benefit while those who end up in the lesser schools get less... Is this our new social reengineering?

Fix our schools... instead of dumbing down our exams. Set a standard and keep to it so that our young minds can be challenged and aim for the world. We do not lack brains or talents as many of our people have made it on the global stage. Instead of flip flopping on our education policies, dare make changes and embrace them so that we can stand tall among the best. Make teaching a career of choice for our best and brightest so that together we can inspire a new generation of Malaysians.

Fix our schools... so many things are not going well in our schools. Ensure that schools get heads with calibre. We have way too many mediocre heads. We also have way too many heads who ought not be leading schools. We have way too many heads who focus on too many wrong things. We are now paying the price for our skewed morality. Schools are very much like a political entity now. The wrong people get promoted because they have the right connections.

Fix our schools... our curriculum is slow in adapting to the changes in the world. We come out with bombastic sounding blueprints and they remain very much just that. We have grand sounding ideas and programs but very often they remain just that. This year, one that I have been hearing is Memelihara Masa Instruksional. An observation I have made is, these are readily sacrificed to achieve and maintain certain standings. And very often at the expense of students.

Fix our schools... Assessments. PBS, PMR (soon to be abolished), SPM and at pre-uni level, an unfair playing field where the field does not seem to be even... STPM, Matriculation, University foundation courses for those who vie for places in our public universities. PBS is a sham. Many teachers are already complaining of the huge amount of work. Assessments seem to be a sham. Many are wondering whether we will wake up to a bigger nightmare when these PBS kids get to their SPM. At pre-university, the segregation is telling and it is very racial.

Fix our schools... Perhaps when we start to truly fix our schools, we might finally begin to move forward as one bangsa Malaysia. But we need Change.... Will we see that change so that we can fix our schools?

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