System overload

Sunday July 1, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2012/7/1/education/11554540&sec=education

LET’S HEAR IT

I REFER to the article 
Excelling the stress free way
 (Let’s Hear It, June 24).

I fail to understand why the Cabinet agreed to this assessment via School-Based Assessment (PBS) in 2010.

There is an on-going National Dialogue to revamp the Education System and the opinions put forward will be collated to come up with a new system which will be put in place.

In the year 2010, many systems were put in place for education, including the introduction of the PBS, the abolishment of the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR) examination, the introduction of Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English (MBMMBI), the abolishment of the Teaching and Learning of Science and Mathematics in English (PPSMI), compulsory passes in History at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) level etc.

Looking at all these, why wouldn’t teachers as well as students be stressed out? When we want to revamp a system, we should not enhance or introduce new things until we have a clear picture of what we want. The cabinet should have, in my opinion, allowed the National Dialogue panel to finish its job before introducing new systems.

Planning is important when we deal with human capital and resources. Children are our future. We have changed our education policies every time we changed our Minister. Children do not finish a proper cycle when learning. When this happens, why blame them for turning out to be poor quality graduates? It is like constructing a high-rise building without a proper foundation.

Teachers are overloaded with paperwork. There is a lot of duplication in the requirement of data by the Education Ministry. I fail to see how the introduction of PBS will reduce the teacher’s workload. In fact, I think there is more unwarranted paperwork at the teacher’s end.

Teachers are not attending classes due to unnecessary courses and activities organised by both school and department. A teacher’s job is to teach, so let them teach. In the past, teachers were in school to teach and only to teach. Students then did not attend tuition. Today, they attend because they have to.

I think that all new systems introduced last year and this year should be put on hold until the finding from the panel is put forward.

Revert to the old system. Do not confuse students, teachers and parents until the findings and recommendations of the panel are put forward.

Let us build a good and solid foundation for the future human capital of this country. We want quality and not quantity in terms of graduates.

Parents should be convinced that the national education system of is good and of quality.

We do not need international schools to open their doors to us. For me, learning in an international school is not patriotic because you have more faith in other people’s system rather than your own.

Buying Malaysian products means learning in Malaysian schools, be it national or vernacular schools, not international. All policymakers, please walk the talk and think of our children before decisions are made.

Just check with international schools to see if their system of education has changed as often as ours. Even Japan and South Korea which we love to compare ourselves with, do not change their systems as often as ours.

SARALA POOBALAN