There are many things I feel that can be better about this country, Malaysia.
If you want to understand Malaysia, you must first understand the people.
To understand the people of Malaysia, is to, simply put, scrape off any common sense you have, be as gullible as possible, jump into conclusions, point fingers and congratulations, you are one of us!
Just to give you a clearer picture, by me writing this post or saying something like the paragraph above, I will already be labelled as someone who thinks too highly of herself or that I am too good to be among the many “humble” Malaysians.
Surprised much? Read on.
There are many annoying things about Malaysians that I can and would like to talk about but I choose to talk about one topic that is close to my heart.
Not only because I’m a passionate student, I’m an ardent believer that education is the one powerful thing that will get you far in life. You will never know the extent of how much having an education will affect your life, your way of thinking and gives you such stark clarity on what is going on around you.
There was a time where schools were doing what they’re supposed to – an institution for students to learn and acquire skills of a certain field in which interest them.
Nowadays, schools have turned into a spectacle of who scores more As and can memorize the most from the textbooks. Teachers literally spoon-feed the students with notes to copy, excerpts to memorize and mathematical equations or formulae to jot down.
There is so much pressure on the teachers to finish the syllabus before the term ends that sometimes teachers don’t get to do what they’re supposed to – teach.
I truly believe that those who choose the teaching career in Malaysia do have the altruistic intention of teaching Malaysian youngsters. But the education system caused them to be stuck in a place where other obligations such as planning for a extra-curricular activities, charity events to collect donations from the public and other non-educational related activities that schools always seem to have.
Teachers will read aloud any text on the subject that she is supposed to teach and students will copy them down without any questions. There will be no discussions, or Q&A on what is the application of the subject in the students’ future nor there will be any dispute on what the teacher is saying.
Basically, the students could’ve done a better job downloading notes from the Internet but since the teachers need to have a record that they actually did touch and complete the syllabus as per the textbooks provided by the Malaysian Education Ministry, they had no choice.
If in depth discussions are encouraged, there is no way for the teachers to finish the syllabus and the teachers will be questioned on his or her evident lack of time management. There is very little, perhaps nonexistent, classroom interactions such as the ones seen in Dead Poet Society or Good Will Hunting or what is written in The Teacher Man.
I won’t deny that some of Malaysian students yearn to have this kind of learning experience for we do have bright, intelligent students with radical ideas and bursting to express themselves but the education system is so flawed that it hampers these children’s talent and potential. It is very disheartening to think that the numbers of As and high marks is the benchmark of a student’s worth. He is not valued for what he is capable of creating and contributing to the society in the future.
It’s a cycle set for him to follow – school, college, job, family.
A place where he should find inspiration to be someone when he grows up is replaced with a curt “That is not coming out in exams,” by the teachers when he tried to ask why is man created. Even if a topic of a certain subject doesn’t come out in exams, would it hurt for the teachers to explore the topic and discuss it with the students?
Ask the students what they think, instead of telling the students what and how they should think. The years students spend in school should be the years that define who he is a person. He should be allowed to explore as many grounds as possible, question everything he wants to and express what he feels and thinks.
Unfortunately there are so many limitation for Malaysian students to truly shine.
Because of this, whether directly or indirectly, the youngsters, sadly do not have a strong hold of their character, do not have a sense of identity and fail to stand up for what they believe in.
What they identify is in celebrities and latest trends. What they see on the Internet becomes their lifestyle. Armed with social networking, they feel invincible and ready to take on the “real world” without having the slightest idea what real world is. They do not have a strong mind to express their thoughts and for many, don’t even know what they’re passionate about.
It’s a vicious situation for the students and even more disturbing they don’t know that they’re the victim of such flawed system. Students do not go to school to learn anymore, they go to school because they have to. It’s an obligation for them, 5 days a week, 9 months a year for 11 years.
If schools can be what they’re supposed to be, teachers have the capability to inspire and motivate students, show the beautiful thing that is studying new things and exploring a topic from different perspective, 11 years is more than enough to create great people out of ordinary students.
I’m appalled by how robotic the schools have become. Students are pawn to the system where they sit in class, copy endless notes and forced to memorize as much information as possible without really considering whether they truly understand what they are told to learn.
I don’t know what kind of generation Malaysia will be producing with an education system such as this. Perhaps we are trying to concoct a breed of youth that don’t question and follow what is told of them so it would be easier to govern the country.
But it’s a pity and a shame what the young Malaysians are subjected to without them realizing it.
One can hope (and vote) for the education system to change for the sake of our children.
But that would mean having a different government and education ministry’s ministers. And when it comes to Malaysian politics and mentality for (or against) the government, I just may need a whole new post for it.
- Our school children are sacrificial lambs (hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com)