Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Education: Your Say

I believe that the readers today are mature men and women; a group of adults who have their own stands and opinions about things around them, everyday events and as well as everything else all cut down to their individual beliefs, cultures and knowledges. Let's move to a more serious stuff.

Let's take a look at the education in Malaysia today.

There are just too many proposed changes these days in order to, doubtfully, enhance the levels of education in the country. The changes cover almost all levels; from early education all the way to higher level. Recently, UPSR and PMR, the first two major examinations for primary and lower secondary school students respectively, were proposed to be abolished as to reduce the level of stress experienced by these group of learners. And then not a little too long ago was this whole hype in Maths and Science to be taught in English.

And then there were a few other plans here and there.

But how much did the education quality change? All along we still do have many of those who can't converse properly in English. Hell, they can't converse properly in Malay even. And yet we would like to introduce Mandarin and Tamil in schools, compulsory to be taken by every student. How do we do this, anyway, when the first two major languages that are widely used in everyday communication could not even be strongly gripped? Linguistic skills are of course very beneficial when it comes to expansion towards other countries that technically use other than Malay and English as their mother tongues, but wouldn't it promise us a bigger trouble when two more completely unrelated languages are to be introduced and learnt along with the two existing ones, both already suffered from weakness in skillful usages?

And then comes this whole total Malay language thing.

I fairly understand that the mother tongue, that the national language that is practiced here is Malay language. And I strongly support the idea that requires every Malaysian to be able to converse in Malay, for that does not only decrease the gap in between the major races but also grouping us up in one strong community, for language is always a unity thing.

But what really grinds my gear is that there are a few groups and individuals who oppose the heavy usage of English as a medium in everyday conversations; from TV commercials to tongue-to-tongue discussions. They yelled out loud telling that Malay language is this and that, and the heavily-used English cannot be tolerated.

To me, we now live in a very unbounded world. New York to Kuala Lumpur only is a phone call away. English, and apparently Mandarin, is the power language of the world today. If one cannot grasp the concepts and the very basic fundamentals needed to converse in these two languages, we could hardly get anywhere. Yes, Malay was once one of the most spoken language in the world, but that was long long ago. The world has changed, and so should us. But this does not mean we need to abandon the purely usage of the Malay language; it is just that we need to make sure most of the people are able to converse in both fluently.

And then lets take a close look at the quality of our scholars.

We have a lot of graduate scholars, like a real lot. But how intellectual are they, actually? How able are they in doing their works specified to each specific fields? How knowledgeable are they in their stuffs? Or are they just good in doing works in a robot sense where input-output is fairly guaranteed? How good are they really in education, in educating themselves?

We gave out hundreds of millions each year as scholarships to these somewhat initially-super-successful straight-A students so that they will be able to continue their studies oversea, only in the end see how they are thrown back overboard from their lack of will and lack of knowledge to push forward. Their abilities are questioned and their worth are in doubts. But why so? Aren't they straight-A students? The common culprits are of course the failure to communicate. But how so? These are not just average students we are currently talking about.

So what really is going on with our entire education system? Reliability is at stake. Science and technology are never anymore interesting to many other than MTV and fashion are. General knowledge level drops down every damn second. The number of those who fail exams increases day to day, purely be blamed on the exam-oriented education system. But if we change the status of exam-oriented to interest-oriented whatsoever, would that anyway change the outcome as well?

Come to think of it, would it really do?

So what's your say, people? Give me some good ones!

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