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Friday, 15 January 2010

Exercising options through education.

I have seen the comments that came over my article about education. Education is indeed an emotive subject.

This morning I read Lim Kit Siang's criticism of Muhyidin's visit to the UK to encourage our best brains in the UK to come back. Lim Kit Siang wasted no time to blast the government for ignoring the best brains residing in Singapore.

That brings us back to the issue of education. The number of comments coming into my previous article, reflect an underlying concern. For the future.

The various comments given are all valid concerns. Some are more persuasive than others. They range from a barking retort demanding to know, is this an issue about paying and not paying for education to general and more numerous, indictments on our education system.

Unthinking retorts and fucking-isation of the system are not helpful for a meaningful discourse.

The majority I suspect are perhaps the expression of deep seated anguish and hopes about an uncertain educational future visited upon future generation by a regressive polity. In response, they, the parents, take responsibility over this matter. They act out this concern and responsibility by providing their children options. That's what it is really right? - The Chinese parents act to provide options for the children preparing them for the future.

Chinese parent act by going out of the system. Malay parents don't act aggressively enough to force options within the system.

The Malays on the other hand have to contend with a national educational and schooling system that does not stress enough on providing options for the future. It is damning for me to say this, but that's what it is. Our educational and schooling system is not giving parents options and choices for the future. It is the system per se- nothing about it being the policy of UMNO or not UMNO.

So I am not going to look at this issue as a system foisted by UMNO on non UMNO issue. It's about thinking about something that affects everyone in this country. Even though I asked where have the Chinese gone, my real question is actually, what of Malay education? Or more particularly, how are Malays affected by our education system?

The primary purpose is to discuss the educational system in this country. Even if I concede to a lunatic commentator who screamed that 'all this is another fuck up by fucking UMNO'- my answer to this fucking lunatic in a language style that has become second nature to degenerates like him/her is- your fucking brethren or whoever you support, has still got to come up with a thinking of how to better the system. If you want to 'outfuck' each other, I am certain there are sufficient UMNO degenerates and expletives maestros who are equally gifted in this particular style of arguing to entertain you.

Look at what the simple act of sending Chinese pupils to Chinese schools (vernacular schools) represents?

No, it does not represent the vindication for the insistence that vernacular schools be retained. The successes achieved by products of Chinese schools (for example in the instances cited by the Blogger Covert-operations in her comments on my previous article) do not validate the claim that vernacular schooling system is superior to the national schooling system. The good work ethics and good attitude and habits spoken of are reinforced in Chinese schools yes, but they are actually extension of the values already adopted at home.

This comes back to the early part of my previous short article that the responsibility of schooling of our children with good habits, values, and attitude begin at home. That responsibility seeks out options for the children. So when Chinese parents chose to send their children to Chinese schools, they are acting out that responsibility. Sending them there represents the translation of the responsibility of giving their children options. In this sense, the behavior of the Chinese in general, is almost instinctively economic. Economic in the sense that it is a behavior conforming to the maximizing postulates of a typical china man. That of seeking better returns, widening options, seeking out options but also cutting corners, going around the system or even being selfish etc.

Are you saying that Chinese parents are better and superior to us Malays in appreciating education? So what if I say yes because acknowledging that Chinese place a higher premium on education , as expressed by the majority of the commentators in my previous article) does not DIMINISH my own and other non Chinese estimates of the importance education).

What about Tamil Schools? Success from this particular vernacular schooling system hasn't come to any impactful levels that could give its champions shouting rights. This means, what's wrong in our educational and schooling system isn't about allowing or disallowing vernacular schooling system. It is about giving choices and options.

Maybe we can see the educational issue as an issue of offering choices for the sidelined majority? Then having a restrictive and one particular choice IS the issue that restricts everyone in Malaysia from exercising options to secure a better future.

The issue then comes back to one of sensitizing or making relevant our present national education system. That would then imply our present schooling system as being unfairly restrictive and discriminatory on the Malays. Malays have only once choice but non Malays have choices? We must look into this matter.

What do you do then? The Chinese took the way out by sending their children to their vernacular schools. They justify this by claiming the superiority of products of vernacular schools. They also forget, the same cannot be said of products from Tamil schools. ONE type of system (vernacular) producing different products doesn't support the arguments FOR vernacular schooling system.

It reinforces the need and urgency to look into aspects of the existing national schooling system.

You see, there were not so many comments on the people sidelined by our education system. The Chinese appear to have an option. They can opt for vernacular education that has proven to place Chinese students in general in good stead.

But what about those who don't have an option but have to endure and subsist within a given and invariably imposed education system? These are the issues I want to discuss.

39 comments:

Varangians Rus,  15 January 2010 at 12:49  

Saya baca separuh jalan aja artikel pak sak.

Jadi ingin memberitahu, Melayu banyak yg ikut sekolah gomen tanpa pilihan lain atau memikirkan tentang future anak, basically, kerana melayu percaya apa yg kerajaan buat adalah yg baik. Mereka tidak ada kuasa utk memilih2sangat kerana keduanya, mungkin ongkos agal kurang. Kalau pun nak pilih luar dari sistem sekolah kerajaan yg ada. Saya belum nampak satu pun sekolah yg boleh melayu2 ni masuk, kerana kalau dah sekola luar, harga yuran nya mahal, sedangkan yuran sekolah kerajaan ni pun mengeluh kita dibuatnya.

Dan lagi, melayu2 juga begitu memikirkan perkembangan anak2 dari segi ugama Islam, di sekolah kerajaan sudah ada, kalau tak cukup petang pulak nak ke sekolah agama.

Sekolah cina takda ini semua, org Melayu disebalik keberjayaan dalam bidang pelajaran, kami juga mementingkan pendidikan agama. Saya berasa majoriti Melayu begitu.

Ciri2 yg dikehendaki tidak ada di sekolah swasta dan berbayaran tinggi setakat ini.

Jadi kehendak melayu dan cina tak sama, kehidupan moden segalanya mengejar duit, tapi saya rasa setengah2 mak bapak melayu memerlukan sahsiah anak2 yg terjaga. Ini saya cakap bagi pihak middle class yg merupakan majority dari kalangan Melayu.

Kerajaan patut bergembira kerana kami melayu2 masih menggembeling tenaga dan bersetuju dengan dasar2 kerajaan (pun mungkin juga kerana kekurangan duit dari majoriti kami).

Jadi, apalah kiranya, jika sesuatu difikirkan bagi menambah baik sistem persekolahan buat kami2 disini sementelah kaum lain pun tak suka ke sekolah anda.

Saya juga dapati, SRJK banyak mendapat bantuan kewangan dari org2perseorangan yg tidak kedapatan di dalam masy. melayu.

Minta maaf saya katakan, org melayu yg kaya dan terpelajar, setengah2 tu begitu sibuk menolong dan menyokong sikap2 kaum cina tentang pilihan mereka tentang pelajaran, dari segi keupayaaan memilih utk masa depan anak mereka, tetapi mereka silap, ia ibarat menepuk air ke dulang.

Melayu2 kaya dan terpelajar tidak pula memberi wang sokongan kepada sekolah, jauh sekali nak bukak sekolah yg menepati ciri yg dikehendaki melayu, berdaya saing dan maju dalam pelajaran, cakap sekarang competitive, dan juga tidak melupakan bidang agama.

Melayu sekarang begitu terpana dengan kejayaan bangsa lain, tanpa mereka sedar yg ugama kita telah terhakis dan menipis.

Pada saya, lihatlah di zaman kegemilangan Islam, mungkin pengukuhan ugama diperlukan utk membaiki moral dan aspirasi melayu, kerana dalam agama Islam punya adab2 dan peraturan yg kalau diamalkan memang membawa kejayaan.

Jangan kita begitu alpa dan seronok dengan keberjayaan org, kerana ada bezanya antara kita dan mereka dari segi falsafah hidup sebagai Islam.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 13:48  

Dato,

Agreed that this is not an UMNO issue alone. But surely, all the previous Ministers of Education cannot deny the quality of our school's education deteriorated during their watch ?

The Chinese value education due to Confucianism. Public exams were held and only the most qualified go into civil service. Guess how many would remain if such a system were to be implemented in Malaysia ? You are right in your observation of the Chinese helping themselves if the government cannot provide. How else can the Chinese succeed otherwise ? It is ingrained into our psyche to survive on our own and through our community. If you are not interested and don't pay attention to your child's education, who else will ? The government ?

Parents sent their children to SRJK schools not because they are Chinese but because they are the next cheapest after the SRKs that can provide a reasonable level of education for their children. Otherwise, their children would be rubbing shoulders with Ministers children in the International Schools if they can afford to send them there. As you have said, the Chinese are selfish and cut corners when it comes to moving ahead.

EX

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 13:50  

Both My wife and I were Chinese eduatced, till Standard 6. We have 2 daughters, both NOT sent to Chinese vernacular Schools. One is now an advocate/solicitor (via London External and CLP, while the 2nd is completiing 4th yr Engineering at Monash Australia, paid by money from sale of 2-sorey house). We spoke Mandarin and English at home, and taught Mandarin words at home to the girl. Both have done well on Englsih, BM, maths and Sciences. From our own experience in our previous Chinese schools many years ago and observations of the present Chinese schools, We do not cherish the extra workloads by the Chinese school system on the yound children on maths and sciences. However, 20 years ago, we do not realise the present development achieved by China and the subsequent opportunities offered to young professionals. We as parents now realised the missed opportunities of a more solid /proper 6 years of Chinese education (on chinese reading/ literature etc, but not maths/sciences ) which could have enhanced the marketability/ options to work on China related business. If future parents have the capability to home school their childern on Chinese literature at the same time tutor their children well on maths and sciences, the suffice to send children to national type schools which do have signicantly less school works and less streesful environment. But of course, parents must be aware that teachers in national type schools tend to be less 'controlled' by the HM and performances are less desirable as against the teachers in Chinese school

Keith 15 January 2010 at 14:04  

Malays have the option to go to to Chinese school.

Malays have a choice and some Malays have exercised their option to go to the chinese school.

But the non-Malays do not have the option of the Mara and Maktab sains. That needs to be looked at.

Malays have their options. Please do not mis-lead into saying the chinese have an option of Chinese schools and Malays don't that is wrong.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 14:50  

It is not only Chinese parents who send their children to Chinese schools.

What about the Malay parents who send their children to Chinese Vernacular schools. How come they do it and how come many Malay parents do not?

It just that these parents decided to act, Chinese more so than Malay.

Helena,  15 January 2010 at 15:15  

I think it's clear cut and that all Malaysians agree that the education system here is and issue that needs to be addressed. But I do not agree that it's a Chinese / Malay / Indian issue. We need to move beyond looking at skin colour and to actually dig into why Malaysians in general are giving up on our national schools.

Based on the current situation, it is wrong to say that Malays do not have a choice. All Malaysians have a choice as to what kind of school you want to send your child to. Unfortunately for some, that choice may be restricted to only one, regardless of skin colour.

The reason why many parents of this day choose to send their children to Chinese vernacular schools is purely because of the success that it has brought about and the reputation these schools have of churning out students who will do well in exams. But this is only because the national schools are not doing well. And instead of addressing the root of the problem, i.e. finding out why national schools are not doing well, the government seems to be doing everything else but.

We need to improve our education system in general across all schools in Malaysia for the sake of our future. I’m sure that if national schools can bring themselves to satisfactory levels (for the sake of comparison, let’s just use Singapore), many parents will send their children to these schools instead. At the very least, I know I would.

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:05  

1

C: 'What's this site all about, M?'

M: 'Oh, it's about challenging all assumptions, C.'

C: 'And what has happened to A and B?'

M: 'Sofea has decided to indispose herself while Tun's grandchildren have dropped in so he must likewise be as happily overwhelmed.'

C: 'So that leaves just us to discourse this topic about education, it seems? Incidentally, the blogger's previous post was titled Where Have All The Chinese Gone. It sort of reminds me of Seeger's song Where Have All The Flowers Gone, doesn't it, M?'

M: 'Unfortunately, many malays don't see them as flowers, more as thorns, C, even if i hate to admit that.'

C: 'Some may disagree with you, M, but let's make amends before they do, shan't we?'

M: 'What do you have in mind, C?'

C: 'I am going to pretend i am a malay and you are going to defend the chinese, M.'

M: 'What a wild idea! Let's do it.'

C: 'On second thoughts, those in Putrajaya reading in may get confused, M.'

M: 'They already are, C, so it will make no difference. Kekeke.'

C: 'Nice sense of humor you have there. Now, as a (ahem) malay, i completely agree with the blogger.'

M: 'Oi! the rule is challenge all assumptions. I take that to mean race-based assumptions as well. Let me as a (hehehe) chinese show the way.

I disagree with the blogger on a number of counts.'

C: 'wahh! so fierce one, you.'

M: 'First, he said that the malays are locked into an education system that doesn't provide enough options for their future. I beg to differ.

I think the malaynification of the national education system provides the malays with more options. Look how big the MOE budgets. Look how pristine the cluster schools. Even more the hosteled colleges built on the Eton model. And have you lately seen the MARA colleges around, the size of their compounds, their facilities, even the quality of their buses and training of their lecturers?

And look at how many percent of scholarships, grants and loans are given to malays, incidentally out of govt money paid for from taxes collected primarily from the chinese. Why, even the loan defaulters list is telling.

And if you're not convinced, open any faculty staff page of a public university or the staff list of the MOE departments and tell me the racial composition.

Examine carefully the entry requirements and how the grades are computed for the first choices offered.

While at them, why not delve right in to the syllabi and see how many subjects are taught in bahasa? And how many school compounds have other faith places to pray. And the content of the sejarah subject. And so on, so forth.

So many other things lah. Go ahead, make my day.'

C: 'Oi! you're overdoing it, M. The chinese are too dense trying to survive to tote things like that.'

M: '(sighs) To continue, i think the malays definitely have more options. After their SPM, they can either do STPM or Matrikulasi.

And if their SPM results are good, they get into special A-level grooming colleges where they will be tutored for the oxbridge or ivy league universities.

Else they will continue to get the biggest chunk of fully-paid scholarships to study in UK, US or Australia. And if they don't do well, they can continue with indefinite extensions.

Why, they can even join the vernacular schools. Betul tak?'

C: 'I don't know.'

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:07  

2

M: 'You mean you don't want to know, C. Meanwhile our MOE and his massive entourage of fifty educationists are in London even as we speak. They are obviously doing important things though they seem to have forgotten the last ruling not to send people overseas too much in the light of the present financial constraints. In any case, it's nice to try foie gras and english muffins in winter, one imagines. Because those things help to relieve the mind from pondering too much about that nettlesome matter of loading the STPM syllabus with more extraneous things of no import so that the majority chinese students who have to take it because they are left to fend for themselves so young in their years won't get to race too fast too much to enter our marvelously ranked local universities.'

C: 'Oi, M. Are you sure you bukan orang cina in disguise ke?

Anyway, to draw the line, even educationists need to expand their horizons else how to get inspired?'

M: 'Next. He said it's not that party whose name we shall not whisper issue. I again beg to differ.

Ever since its members helmed those ministries, they have been going downhill. I mean the ministries, the teachers and the children. The ministers and the side income budgets however have gone upmarket, it seems. Don't believe me? Ask the auditor-general.'

C: 'Please-lah, M. It's the best anyone can do. You must remember we are a multifaceted society facing challenging times with different perceptions and perspectives.

The govt is doing the best it can with the limited resources it has. Being a teacher nowadays isn't as hot as what it was before.

Times have changed, the student population has increased and we have suffered somewhat economics wise.

Also, the govt has to build a future for our country through stabilization by bringing up one race to catch up with the others.'

M: 'So why are we discussing this topic if everything is that hunky dory, C?

So why did the other M hint that he sacrificed the non-malays so that the malays can come up. So why am i now hot under my collar, C? Anyway, let's continue.

Third, he mentioned the lack of progress of the tamil schools to imply that vernacular schools inset chinese schools aren't really superior to national schools.'

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:08  

3

C: 'Sigh, M. As a malay i cannot believe that the chinese vernacular school system is superior to the national school system. Ask Professor Khoo Kay Kim-lah.

For instance, the chinese discipline their students too much, their parents have to fight and sweeten for places in their cramped and shitty buildings. Their teachers are underpaid, overworked and their what-you-call-it unified exam certificate the govt does not even recognize.

Their student workload and schoolbag loads are of the magnitudes normally assigned to members of the british special air service. Or, in some of their schools, the british special boat service. On second thoughts, make that the american SEALs.

Moreover, their student population is increasing much faster than their teacher staffing because the govt has wisely seen to it that approval for more of their schools be limited and training facilities for more of their type of teachers be discouraged.

Benign neglect by controlling their BN partners is a neat way to control the expansion demand of chinese schools.'

M: 'But your MOE said in London that the govt is fair to all schools, C.'

C: 'He was talking about schools in East Malaysia, M.'

M: 'You think he knows anything about the chinese vernacular school system ke? You think he gives a hoot?'

C: 'We should give him time, M. After all, the vernacular school issue caused the govt at least two million votes the last round.'

M: 'Ya-ke??'

C: 'Oi! remember you orang cina!'

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:10  

4

M: 'Oops. Where was i? Ah, he said the national school system is unfairly restrictive and discriminatory on the malays. We have gone over this point. Is it still standing?'

C: 'Let's be fair, M. The blogger's main theme is the weakness of the national education system to provide more options for the future of the malays vis-a-vis the chinese vernacular school system which appears to provide more options to the chinese.'

M: 'Not just the chinese, C. Also more and more of the malay parents who are sending their children to study in chinese schools. So it remains for me to ask you why.

Why is it that malay parents are sending their children to chinese schools? I understand in one such school in Kelantan, seventy percent of its enrolment are malays.

Let me add that since he has defended in so many words that the malay parents are also equal to the chinese parents in valuing education, it thus means those malay parents who send their children to chinese schools must see something of value in them that is not found in national malaynified schools, betul tak? Higher standards, regime, content, approach and learning environment, perhaps?

So, if that be so, nullifying the uniqueness of chinese schools shouldn't give grounds for the idea of nullifying their existence in order to fulfill some other objective, so far revolving around the matter of a malaysian identity, which however has only been consistently portrayed as malaynified in content, nature and thrust, if we may so say?'

C: 'No committee has been formed to conclude otherwise, M. Thus your assertions are just ramblings and cannot be taken on their face value. Next.'

M: 'Oi! you are supposed to be a malay, not a representative of that party whose name we shall not mention.'

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:10  

5

C: '(sighs). This is too complicated, M. Why not we change back? I am now chinese and you are back to malay?'

M: 'Ok-lah. It's not easy trying to be different......'

C: 'But before we do, can i retain that privilege accorded to malays, you know the one about their men being allowed to..(whisper-whisper)?'

M: 'Well, you are free to do what you like but can you take the massive responsibility not to say consequences? See how worn out us malay men are? Hehehe.'

C: '(sighs). Let's forget it. Now where were we? Oh, now back as orang cina, i can say a couple of things.

One, i sense the jeremiad of the blogger. He sees the chinese going forward because their education system creates more options. But he has not said anything about what to do for the indians.

Second, if the malays have less options in the national school system, what about the chinese and indians in the same system? Where will they be when they come out of those A-mills?

Third, does the govt or anyone for that matter realize that so far, all the bucks have been thrown on how to deliver education but nothing has been done on what education is supposed to deliver next?

Imagine, after half a century, we are still mucking around how to deliver education. Telling of our standards, doesn't it? What about how to make education catalyze ideation, innovation, inventiveness, thirst for knowledge?

Fourth, you see a chinese student or an indian youngster holding a harry potter book and reading it voraciously. Has anyone seen a malay kid doing so? The yearning to read and learn is perhaps less apparent in the malays.

Fifth, along the same line, we must ask ourselves what is this thing called learning.

Let me give you an anecdote. I remember donkey years ago looking most forward to the start of the lectures on a particular topic in my old uni. I had read about it even when tiny. So you can imagine how i had awaited with bated breath for the lecturer to kick off the real journey....

Well, the lecturer fumbled so much in the first five minutes that in disappointment i slipped out of the dewan kuliah and headed straight to the library to learn it all by myself. Unfortunately for me, there was only one book on the subject matter. And because i was young, i didn't realize it would be tough-going because it was written by a pair of princeton profs...Only later did i realize it was THE best text in the world on the subject.

Anyway, as i poured my heart into it, i discovered the delight of the subject, and reveled in my own ability as darkness turned to light.

At the end of it i became completely confident of my understanding of the subject, some more by self-learning, something you can imagine of youngsters when they realize what they have achieved.

As it would have it, when the lecturer finally set his paper, i out-answered even him. To this day, i remember that achievement.

Now, A, that's learning. Achievement-targeting.

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:11  

6

If something is set but of low standard, the student must have the ability and the means to explore beyond on his own, and perhaps with some mentoring along the way, find his own niche. Not in the system. Not in this country. Not in this time. But in the world for all forseeable time. First amongst equals. Best of the best. Par excellence. Summa cum laude. Semua cam lada.

Can any good educationist out there disagree with me on this vision for state-enabled learning? Any?

Sixth, in a manner of speaking, that's what the chinese have had to face in this country.

They were happy to follow the national system when the Alliance was a multiracial thing. But when it became a Barisan, it became just a monoracial line in all but name.

Now, education is supposed to untether man from all limitations. The chinese realize this. The malays and indians and other members of the human race realize it too. Yet we have policies that do grave injustice to that vision. Can you explain why?

Seventh, today if you ask me, the two languages of immense importance are english and chinese. The educated indians speak english and want to use it to make India into the world's first brain hub. The chinese are learning english to acquire western knowledge faster than the japanese of the last two centuries.

And recently the british govt has come out to encourage british students to learn mandarin/chinese. Can you explain to me why? Especially since the british system has so many options where they can learn french, spanish and so on, why choose and focus on chinese? And the world's only superpower, the americans, are scrambling to offer courses in all things chinese so that their graduates can do more business directly with the chinese in China. Do you know every law school of note in the US subscribes to expensive databases on China's laws? Why do you think they do that - and do we have that here?

So if we want to talk about options for our malays, why not encourage them to learn chinese, why not quadruple the funds for chinese schools and teachers in order to accommodate more malay students, why not let them use half-empty new national schools for free, why not enrol them in half-empty vocational colleges or eton-type colleges so that they can acquire better skills to come out and contribute to nation-building and tax revenue without one MOE after another having to ask feebly for return of our national brains but doing it on foreign soil?

Well, why not?

And if you want to say that will diminish the national schools, a product of that party's strategy towards unification, how will A going into B's house be not the same as B going into A's house in order to achieve unification?

Last one checked, unification is a property of the heart which is location-invariant.

No, or yes?

Unless...unless.. it is still all about race, still about more-for-me so long as it-shall-be-less-for-you.

Let me ask you, M, what if the situation is reversed? What if the chinese are the malays and the malays are the chinese? Would you as malay/now chinese not feel disenfranchised from the education of your charges to such an extent you would sell your hard-earned multi-generational legacy of a few acres of rubber estate just to send your children away to get some real education and find a more meaningful destiny than what your own country has been taking generation after generation from you?

What say you now, M?'

M: 'It's not so straightforward, C.

The malays want to be unique too. They want to show that they can come up on their own. That they too can succeed. That's why so many of them have fallen back to recalling old times and how it was before and how the chinese have come up while they still are battling so many factors around and in them and they.....'

C: 'Wait, M. We have gone over this before. No one in this country should sit idly and be happy that another race is down. And if they do, it's invariably a reaction to things done on them without conscience.

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:13  

7

Since there are no women around here, let me use that word now.

Fuck, aren't we all brothers? How can one eat and be happy if another is standing by starving and sad?

In the words and sentiments of all our young, regardless of their race, it's so uncool, man.

And that's why the policies to help the malays were initially accepted without a word. Not that the indians and indigenous natives wouldn't have put in their say if they were given the chance, one suspects.

But over time, that party which started as a tribe became a club which turned into a syndicate.

So where are we today with all those policies and their result? How many billions and lives have been sacrificed and to what end?

Now i hear murmurs in the back. Some are asking how come then the chinese are still doing well.

You know, if you want to think like that, i can also ask you how come the indians are not doing well at all.

My friend, it's all about global relevance. Standards and rationality are not the province of any race. They are the cosmic imperatives of today's corporate jungles.

Let me explain to you what's happening in the real world.

Take three countries X, Y and Z. Their standards of living are X>Y>Z. Fuck, X is say England, Y is Singapore and Z is Malaysia.

Next, assume someone from X and someone from Z are recruited to work temporarily on a project in Y. You follow me so far?

Now, what's happening right now is the malaysian will be paid according to some malaysian yardstick but maybe expanded a bit to entice.

The englander will be paid no less than what he is used to in his home country otherwise he won't come into that island. Maybe with some more perks to sweeten the deal.

Now, as we can already assume, the malaysian is the smartest and most productive of the three.

Yet he is being paid the least. Because from the viewpoint of the project, Y is using Z to subsidize the project because Y cannot use X to subsidize the project.

In the end X loses nothing, Y gains something but Z, us, loses what he could have earned but he gained something he cannot earn in his own country. Exposure to global standards.

In other words, that Z malaysian is paying for his or her own exposure to standards and a global work culture that is not available here, perhaps never to come.

Now after the project is finished, Z is not going to stick around in Y which has used him as cheap labor. He is going to try his luck in X where although he may have to struggle, his struggle there will lead him higher in life than either in Y or Z.

Let me ask you, do you think that minister has thought of that for even one second when he was making his feeble attempt to coax malaysians to return since there is now a new economic model which incidentally no one knows what it is about?

Try responding, M.

The whole paradigm about education and progress is to climb the social ladder towards earned mobile prosperity. So that educational options can be translated into a thousand other types of options.'

M: 'But we still have to do something about the malays, C, since you said no one should be neglected.'

C: 'No one, at all, should be neglected, M. No malay, no chinese, no indian, no kadazan or iban or negrito or whoever.

Let me give you something to think about, M.

Let's take the matter and float it. Say it is now 2020. What would i have done in the intervening years under the most trying conditions, let's assume that, ok?'

M: 'i am all ears, C. Proceed, please.'

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:13  

8

C: 'I will make the notion of a country disappear. Let me explain that.

Say a problem comes. Let's say it cannot be solved in the time and with the resources at our disposal. The only way you can solve an unsolvable problem (cough) is to make it disappear or take a new form. Which if you think about it will obviously be this-

make the identity of the malay, chinese and indian of this country disappear.'

M: 'Ehh?'

C: '(eyes roll up and down). Make the malaysian malay into the indonesian malay. He learns and speaks eloquent bahasa indonesia. Make the malaysian chinese into the china chinese. He learns and speaks eloquent bahasa tionghua. Make the malaysian indian into the india indian. He learns and speaks eloquent hindu, punjabi, english, whatever.

See, no target, so no sitting duck, no clay pigeon. The problem disappears because you cannot distinguish where the source has gone to. It has blended into the background which as we know is growing at a rapid rate as we speak.'

M: 'But, but, C, what about the indigenous natives?'

C: 'Tagalog beckons, M.

And let me add, for more options, everyone learns and becomes excellent in english.'

M: 'But what about our own bahasa malaysia?'

C: 'We would still be using it locally, what's your problem, M?'

M: 'Fuck, you're really cold and clinical, C.'

C: 'You getting used to that word, too, eh, M?

My friend, if we are going to die because of some sentimental policy, let that be exclusively for our own warped amusement.

Our young need to live, to grow, to prosper, to find their niche, to work on their destiny, to thrive and survive.

We owe all of them everything we can muster to make those things happen for them. Safely, smoothly and successfully. Even if in doing so we have to sell all we have left.

Try and figure what education means to the chinese. The taxi driver, pork seller, hawker and coffee shop owner each happily dips into their pockets to drop a note or more to keep those chinese schools going. What do you think is going on in their minds about the govt as they do so? Can you answer me that?

And how do you think they will reply if a malay says 'lu sekarang kaya kan so why complain so much?'

Allow me. "Have you seen the chinese student who has to come out to sell dvd and be thrown into the slammer because his father cannot post bail, his education is limited to what the family can afford because his siblings have to study too, and his future is limited to living from hand to mouth daily because the country thinks he is a threat to some great social order to which he is deliberately excluded year after year?" '

Let me give you another observation. Say a malay gets into a spot in China. A malaysian chinese would rise to the occasion to render immediate help, wouldn't he? There's a sense of something i cannot put my finger on about being a malaysian, kan? Now if the same chinese gets into a spot in malaysia, his own country, would the same malay if he belongs to a special group we all already are fully acquainted with, lend the same helping hand without hesitation, repetition and tautology? Even for a pendatang?'

walla 15 January 2010 at 17:13  

9

M: 'So back to the topic. You think inserting and expanding vernacular elements into national schools will help?'

C: 'I was wondering when you would come around to that.

My answer is simple. Never. Go and survey how chinese classes are being conducted in national schools. They are the most demotivated lot. The teachers are crummy, the enrolments are wispy, the scheduling is shitty, and the subject is murder. By fiat or by accident, one is almost tempted to ask. See how quiet the BN component member is on the matter, huh? There is a thing called immersion, M, and there is also a thing called cultural attuning towards learning. Are you trying to say the national school system can be coaxed to develop those things when it is now even trying to kill mathematics in order to raise 1Malaysia as a subject? You flip-flop like this to sex up some politician's standing before his own clueless crowd and you want to profess high standards at the same time?

Look M, the whole thrust of Malaysia must be higher global standards coupled to rationality. Anything else is superfluous, stupid and somnambulistic.

Let me throw in another observation. How do people walk?'

M: 'Ehhh? again, i mean.'

C: 'You observe some people walk safely. They are aware of where they are in reality. If on the road, they walk by the side and multi-task their eyes and ears. Yet there are people who walk in the middle of the road. Because they are not used to crimped space.

My friend, the world today is about space and time. Go to Hongkong, Tokyo, even Singapore, if you be. Just open your eyes and see how every square inch is made to be a money-making space. And everything is done post-haste because time has become more than money. It has become the competitive edge. Even things. The more miniaturized something is, the more expensive it will be priced on per weight or volume basis.

And those people who can amble aimlessly lost in time can still talk about the past.

A good education teaches people how to observe, to assimilate and apply, failing which to adapt and innovate but always to end with to prosper and succeed.

Some members of our community are being blamed for doing that, it seems.'

M: 'But how to make the malays succeed? Aren't they finished if what you say is like that?'

C: 'It's about how they are trained and motivated. Let me ask you how did those malays who scored first class honors do it? It's because they were trained well and motivated to do better. So too the academically weak chinese, indian, who have you. Even the indonesians in those refugee camps can be trained to be better and more productive human beings later if and if the will to help is there.

If malays can score too, but many fall off the radar, then it must be because the many are not trained properly, not because they lack options. If you don't accept that, then no amount of tweaking the national education system will alleviate their condition.

But for goodness sake, don't just help one race and ignore the others. If you do that, then when they all graduate, there will be no common bonding to help one another.

Without collaboration, there is no cohesion towards success. No man is an island. Nowadays even islands are dangerous.'

M: 'We seem to have steered to another area in our discourse, C. It seems far away from the topic.'

C: 'Oh, is that so, M? I thought we were going right to the heart of the matter.'

M: 'Fuck, you could be right, C.'

C: 'It's friday so don't give me ideas, M. Especially when i've just mentioned bonding.'

M:'You're almost as bad as Tun, C.'

C: 'Hopefully his heart can take it.

Varangian Rus,  15 January 2010 at 17:17  

Mr X,

Sekolah Cina pun dapat bantuan kerajaan, kalau tak silap, selagi sekolah tu under kerajaan. Ada juga sekolah cina yg bukan di bawah naungan kerajaan sepenuhnya, tapi bantuan individu perseorangan, bukan kerana gomen tak nak menolong, tetapi mereka sendiri takmau dimasukkan ke bawah skim sekolah kerajaan kerana mereka nak sekolah mereka megikut aspirasi yg mereka tentukan.
Ini pun masih diikutkan.

Dalam kes ini tak bolehlah kita marah kerajaan dan kalau pun sekolah cina tu mengeluarkan pelajar2 cemerlang, jangan lah dikonon kan org2 yg tak reti memilih sekolah, sebagai contohnya. Mungkin juga ini hanya dakwaan anda shj.

Saya berharap jangan membawa isu2 racis dalam membenarkan hujah anda. Yang benar tetap benar, salah tetap salah.

Kalau saya nak panjangkan cerita ini boleh juga. Sepatutnya, jika ingin membentuk satu malaysia yg minimum jurang perbezaan, tidak patut ada sekolah Tamil dan Cina, kerana ia sebenarnya meningkatkan isu2 bangsa atau "assobiyah" yg membuatkan sikap2 dan emosi yg tidak enak terkeluar.

Tapi kerajaan masih membenarkan, kerana pada hemat mereka takkanlah nak membuangkan tradisi keturunan, contohnya berbahasa cina dan india. Kami menjaga hati kamu. Kami tahu kamu pandai dan kami pun tak pernah kata anda tak pandai. Tapi dalam masa yg sama kami tak suka dibodohkan, setelah kami memberi apa yg kamu hendak.


Jika saya boleh meminjam suasana terdekat, kita boleh lihat indonesia sebagai contohnya, mereka begitu bangga berbahasa indonesia dan amat fasih sekali. Saya tidak pasti sekarang, tapi setahu sy sekolah cina hampir tiada ujud.


Nah! lihat bagaimana mereka merasa bangga bertutur dan mengaku mereka org indonesia. Disebalik bahasa inggeris, mereka juga suka bertutur bahasa mereka. Ada anda lihat suasana itu di sini?


Sy melihat dari sudut keharmonian yg cuba diujudkan dengan punya satu sistem sekolah dan tak usah ada dakwa dakwi sampai bila2, bila disebutkan mengenai hal education.


Masalahnya pada Malaysia, tunggu saja waktu dan ketika yg sesuai, akan ada suara melahirkan rasa tak puas hati.

Saya yakin sekolah cina tak mungkin belajar sejarah2 negara tanah melayu seperti diajar disekolah SRK.

Kita patut lihat perkara ini dengan fikiran terbuka, bukan utk menang dan menguasai satu puak dengan cita2 tinggi sehingga memansuhkan apa yg telah sedia ada dengan baik selama ini.


Fakta adalah berdasarkan sejarah. Mahu harus melihat dengan fikiran terbuka dan harus sedar tentang duduk perkara sebenarnya.

Yang menjadi masalah bila ada yg ingin menguasai dan merampas cuba menggunakan isu2 education, politik, ugama dan bangsa utk mencapai cita2 terpendam sekian lama.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 17:21  

Melayu hantar anak2 ke sekolah cina hanya utk mendapat advantage bercakap cina, meluaskan peluang pekerjaan, kerana setengah2 sykt sedikit masa dulu meletakkan syarat bahasa mandarin sebagai syarat. Juga utk memahirkan diri dalam matematik.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 17:23  

machaaa semua, kalau nak bahas pasal bangsa melayu cina dan india, sampai masuk kubur pun tak habis la.

janganlah defensive, cuba cari jalan penyelesaian bagaimana nak buat yg terbaik utk semua kaum.

Tak payah jadi jaguh bahasa, menang pun tak dapat apa, cuma bangga diri aja.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 17:32  

Walla, u dah pandai, banyak duit pulak tu, pergi sekolah tamil dan cina pun masih terkedepan berbanding dengan Melayu. So apa nak jeles?

Kira u bagus la tu, takyah sapa tolong, masih yg ter"excellent". Tapi bila dah excellent, marah pulak sekolah org lain besar?

Walaupun sekolah kau atap jer walla, bersyukur lah sekolah atap yg kau kena bayar tu dapat menjadi kan kau berjaya.

Walla, meh bisik "sekolah dulu mmg atap jek, sekolah skrg berlebih2 la lagi, sebab malaysia dah maju.

Pasal ni pun nak gaduh perli2 bodohkan melayu sampai berkajang2 surat kau. Kenapa kau masih ada kat Malaysia lagi ek?

Pergi la migrate negeri lain ke..duduk sini menyemak jer la

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 17:34  

Walla, anda ni sebenarnya penuh dengan rasa benci pada Melayu dan UMNO.

Ur words explain it all.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 17:36  

Walla, u are comparing chinese with malay idiots, while im comparing the excellent malays with Walla.

ben nasr 15 January 2010 at 18:26  

Dato' Sak,

Ada lagi satu pilihan bagi orang melayu yang dato' dan lain2 belum sebut, iaitu sekolah islam swasta. kalangan kawan kawan saya ramai yang menghantar anak2 ke sekolah islam swasta, terutamanya dibawah kelolaan JIM dan ABIM.

Yuran sekolah ini tidaklah terlalu mahal untuk ibubapa berpendapatan sederhana. Sekolah abim contohnya, yurannya lebih kurang 300 sebulan.

Apa yg saya lihat dari kawan2 saya yang belajar di sekolah abim, sahsiahnya baik dan akademiknya bagus.

Pada pendapat saya, pilihan ialah fungsi kepada wang. Ada wang ada pilihan. tak de wang, pakai je lah apa yang ada.

Adanya wang juga, adalah fungsi kepada pilihan. pilihan untuk kerja keras dan cerdas, ataupun kerja lembut dan malas. pilihan pertama, wangnya banyak. pilihan kedua, wangnya sedikit.

Kalau kerja gaji seribu, usaha lah tambah nilai kepada diri supaya dapat cari gaji dua ribu. dan seterusnya. Bila ada wang, baru lah ada pilihan. Nak hantar international school pun boleh.

Balik kepada isu pendidikan ini, pokok pangkalnya ialah kesedaran ibubapa tentang pentingnya pendidikan, dan penekanan kepada anak tersebut peri pentingnya pendidikan. Kalau anak tu sedar dan berusaha, ibu bapa membantu sepenuh daya, apa saja sistem insya allah boleh berjaya.

Yang penting, melayu kena tolong diri sendiri. Sampai bila nak harap tongkat kerajaan.

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 18:28  

I am deeply impressed by Sak 47 for his splendid writings and impartiality and i would also like to express my amazement and admiration for pretty Walla for her/his ability to come out a fair, intellectual and reasonable retort to this intricate and educating issue.

antuschool,  15 January 2010 at 20:03  

Dato Sak,

I think the claim that vernacular schools having much more quality than SK is quite not true if we were to compare the shear numbers of SKs against vernacular(C) (somehow, vernacular(T)s are not heard to be to in the same league).

There are many numbers of SKs which many parents are scrambling to get a place for their kids. In Kota Bharu alone, SKs like Ismail Petra, Zainab, SMIP (complex of schools) are the notable ones. These alone are a handful in the heart of Kota Bharu itself, there are a few others in KB, let alone the whole Kelantan. There are quite a number of SKs throughout Peninsular that can challenge the vernacular schools in terms of quality without sweat.

This perhaps is something like the news of air mishap take centre stage much more than road mishap because the shear number of people travel by road compared to air travels.

Because of shear number of SKs, people dont tend to beat the drum that loud for the hi-flyers. But one or two vernacular school hi-flyers would receive tremendous amount of coverage.

I think only a small section of the society, especially those in metropolitan areas have been drumming up these so-called high quality of vernacular schools at the same time giving negative images of SKs.

Whatever it is, my personal opinion is that, if we dont go to the same school, mixed well right from the tender age, I feel, this will certainly compromise the efforts of nation building. We tend to separated from day 1.

I also agree that, there is a lot of rooms for the government to strive to make SKs as the number one choice and at the end of the day, become the only sensible choice for all parents. But I do not see that the government are working seriously, all out for the sake of nation building. There is a lot of room to be improved in our education system and that is what I think the SSS guys are campaigning for - Education reform /overhaul.

Sad Malaysian,  15 January 2010 at 20:08  

"It is the system per se- nothing about it being the policy of UMNO or not UMNO."

The sorry state of our educational system has nothing to do with UMNO? Which parties have the present and past Education Ministers come from? It is all a long line of UMNO people.

Do we have any say over the matter? My daughter has 2 kids who will be going to school in a few years time. The national schools were bad enough in her time, worst now. Will she sent her kids to the national schools? But it will be a very expensive affair for her to do otherwise. What has UMNO done to her children1!!!!

Chinaman,  15 January 2010 at 21:28  

Walla you are way cute, but you need to get to the point.

Anyway, Tok, you still aren't getting the point. Malays do have an option, we all have our options. If they SRKs don't cut it you can always enrol your kids in SRJKs. I am not trying to be funny here, I hv Malay friends who does that.
And bro its not abt whether its chinese or malay medium, if we find tamil education best prepares my kids for the future, trust me I will send my babies to a tamil school!

So stop politicising our education, focus on delivering relevant and quality education.

Having said all this, culturally, for us chinaman, education is a real big deal. My parents, had to remortgage our house to fund our education. In our culture materialistic as we are chinese parents will almost always 99.99% of the time trade all their wealth for a good education for their kids. I shit u not, I will do it in a flash bro.

dua sen,  15 January 2010 at 23:36  

Here are the reasons why more chinese(and more non-chinese) prefer SJKC :-

1) Quality of SK - The quality of SK is invertly proportion to Tution industry

2) The malaynisation & islamisation of SKs

3) Teaching profession is the dumping ground of last choice careers.

4) Little napoleans in MOE (more apple polishing their political masters because they're put there not of their merit) are terrorising teachers to do more administrative work than teaching.

5) Lack of talents.

P/S Because of the above SK makes SJKC looks good. If you put a Singapore school standard next to SJKC, I bet SJKC will be a ghost school!

Bring back the missionary schools that we grew up with, I bet you that you don't need to spend millions doing "LAWATAN SAMBIL BELAJAR". The talents are here and ready to serve but MOE (who is against English medium) prefers to seek help our colonial master. What a hypocrite!

Anonymous,  15 January 2010 at 23:53  

Malays have the option to go to to Chinese school.

Malays have a choice and some Malays have exercised their option to go to the chinese school.

But the non-Malays do not have the option of the Mara and Maktab sains. That needs to be looked at.

Malays have their options. Please do not mis-lead into saying the chinese have an option of Chinese schools and Malays don't that is wrong.

Mind you these opportunities are not able to everyone. It has to be earned thru selection process

Anonymous,  16 January 2010 at 00:52  

Dato,

No one wants to admit it but our education system standard is slowly deteriorating. We should not be surprise to see our top university not even close to our neighbor in term of top university world ranking.

Stop fixing the problem at University level only as it is also the students that need to be prepared from primary to secondary schools.

No point to bench mark performance among schools in-term of how many students obtained all As. It is more important to bench mark with other international recognized exam syndication. BTW what happen to competency test conducted by the MoE during last year UPSR????? Please publish.

Remember, the world is cruel. It does not wait for us to take action. Our future generations are at risk if ill prepared.

Nik 16 January 2010 at 08:30  

Dato'

Is it true that more than 40,000 Malay Graduates are still unemployed compared with 1,000+ Chinese and less than 1000 Indians?

If this is so, all political parties in Malaysia have failed to trucly take care of this rising problem in Malaysia.

Education for the Malays? Emphasizing skills training is still the best option for Malays...There is no point being an engineer, accountant etc if Malays are not able to get jobs due to their inherent social and conditioned handicaps...It is better to be a well paid bricklayer than an unemployed accountant...

Anonymous,  16 January 2010 at 09:13  

All my children attended SRJK national school. This particular primary school in Taman Megah has many non-Malays. I believe this is so because the headmaster/mistress since many years ago was/is Chinese. It is a good school and has good results every year. Hence I believe if the quality education of any SRJK is good the Chinese/Indians will send their children there.

I also believe on the Malays having no choice but to choose SRJK is not true. Many Malays are choosing Islamic school for their young children nowadays. I think this is a worrying trend as the yound children do not have opportunity to mix around with children of other races. At least in the Chinese vernacular schools there are always children of other races.

Regards

Frank,  16 January 2010 at 11:25  

Datuk Sak

Bring the education system we had under the British which you and I went through.

Was it bad for us? I guess not.

The parochial Malay-isation of our education system (not so much the issue of introducing Bahasa Malaysia as a medium of instruction, but the way it was forced down the throats of Malaysians) to the extreme to a point of being irreversible , is what we see the consequences today.

The overly focus of the education system seen only through the eyes of the Malays, so jaundiced such that it also almost precludes totally the interest of other communities is what led to Non Malay parents, especially those willing to break their backs to give their children the best hopes for their future, to start walking.

And walk they did... away from the national Malay-medium schools, away to overseas secondary schools and away to overseas university, and even away to seek residence and employment overseas.

Time for the Malay politicians to take their heads out of the sand.

There is too much polemics about Malay education, Chinese education, Tamil education, what type of education systems best suited for the Malays or for that matter for the non Malays etc etc.

If you, Datuk Sak, can take the lead and move away from this race-based talk on anything about the future of this nation,such as how best to have our education system for our Malaysian children,rather Malay,Chinese or Indian, perhaps, we can have a proper start.

This discussion about Malay this, Chinese that and Indian that, is overly tiresome and like an old record replayed again and again..and becomes polemical and fodder for the racist politicians on both side of the fence.

I think enough is enough in this line of debate and discussion. It is a preferred diet of the race-oriented politicians and wannabe wakil rakyat for the next general election.

Time to move on to curb the brain drain and the loss of talent and expertise to other countries because of the stupidity of our present racially-focussed education system.

Ramlan 16 January 2010 at 13:50  

Dear Dato,
Commentators - Chinaman & Dua Sen about sums it all why there are less (and more so in the forseeable future) Chinese in the SRKs. Walla has too, in a long winded way. His solution is a little out of the box for me (still chewing on it).

I recall Najib threatening to send all the MOE/school deadwood to cold storage. My take is he knows what needs doing but just lacking the political will to effect it. Why do I bother to write than? May be to vent?

As for the SSS bunch, I wrote them my sincere thoughts which did not fit into their agenda and was moderated out.(after which I found this blog) Their sincerity is telling. Only folks who want to contribute within the limits of the tempurung no matter their good intentions need to go there. Their objective is to compell everyone into a single stream school. They have in their FAQ lofty action points and motherhood-apple-pie statements w/o realistic solutions. Such misguided patriotism.

For the record I am for single stream WITH CAVEATS, and not with this (SSS's) approach.

Other than my take that Najib knows what needs to be done, why.......do we need to reinvent the wheel? Do we not have a neighbor who has a working model? Their model has the same core as we once did. Anyway is it that fundamental a change that we need to take? Only a real Patriot can handle this in a holistic way. Once we concede to 'considerations' we will only go full circle.

I am only a layman and do not have academic terms for my thoughts. What I have are simple insights (having worked in a foreign MNC for 28 years in M'sia) into the psyche of different nationalities (rough equivalent to race) I have the benefit of working with and for.
A recent good example are the Indians (India Indian). I have worked with them from the time when India started baby steps in overcoming their fear of a brain drain allowing their citizens work out of India. They are quite similiar to our neighbor minus the arrogance. They are so hungry for success they will fight very hard to outdo another. Oh.. the headache of having 2 Indians on opposing sides. It's fun to watch if there wasn't anything to be achieved at the end. They feel shame if they do not get promoted in 2-3 years.
The local Chinese have the same pschye without being loud about it.
That brings in my next point, do the Malays have the same hunger? I do not see it often. In my line of work if a Malay drift by with that hunger in his eyes, I grab & treasure and nurture as I sincerely want the Malays to progress to make up for the govt's failure to help them.
A straight answer to that is to remove their crutches and run them thru detox. I know it's a tall order and I do not have the details of how that can be achieved. They have to want it bad enuff for themselves without appealing to one's instincts to a bogeyman.

The govt's affairmative actions are like opium.

In addition Malays have an additional baggage (Pls I mean to discuss this in all sincerity and no offence is intended), their never ending search to ensure their favourable afterlife in everythings and aspect of the daily life. They feel safer and relieved if these were all regimented for them. I understand it is not a choice. The point being it is constantly on their minds. I also think it is only a Malay phenomena. I work with Muslims from various countries too.

Seriously does anyone have the capacity to carry all these on their shoulders? 1 working day (w/o other considerations) is tiring enough. Sure it can be done, one need to work twice as hard as anybody else.
My apologies if I get a little off topic, but I think school system can't be discussed in isolation.
Again no offence intended, just my 2 bit.

Vish,  16 January 2010 at 21:44  

Dear Sir,

Partially the problem is that people get 'emotional' about the education system itself.

As much as you would like that it not be politicized (and as much as I would agree that it shouldn't be), the fact of the matter is that the minute anyone discusses education - it becomes a debate grounded in nationalism.

Frankly, I'm a fairly recent product of the SK system - and together with my friends we laugh about how we succeeded 'in spite' of the second rate education we received.

At various points, we even had to contend with teachers who barely knew their subject matter (one particular Physics teacher of ours could not even teach Newton's 2nd).

If I may, these are the problems with our education system, as I see them:

1. Teaching is a low paid profession that a lot of people resort to simply because they didn't manage to qualify for anything else.

2. Successive Education Ministers all seek to leave their impact by 'revamping' the syllabus on a regular basis as and when their whims dictate instead of actually coming up with real plans to improve and build upon the existing syllabus.

3. Students are taught to answer exams as the script dictates that they should. No where is this more evident than in History (which is a highly interpretation-based subject, but has been reduced to fact regurgitation in our schools).

Apart from these core problems, the entire progression of education as a whole has even more problems plaguing it.

While various institutions have been created as an affirmative action in terms of education, have they really been a success?

Before anyone gets up in arms with nationalistic bluster, sit back and think about whether these institutions are really helping, or hurting.

-Vish.

Frank,  16 January 2010 at 22:25  

Ramlan

You raised extremely relevant issues and your prescription is spot on too.

Hunger comes competition. If the Malays need to be pushed up 1 or 2 notches, they must be fed to the wolves, so to speak, and let them fend for themselves... there will be those who will survive and those who don't for lack of trying.

Let the education system and the social engineering revert back to what it should be..... ie founded upon the over arching needs of the nation FIRST rather than to be underpinned with an eye for one community alone.

It is a fact that Singapore is what it is today is from the massive influx of Malaysian expertise and experience. Singapore benefited from the push factor in Malaysia rather than the pull factor in Singapore.

For all your lamentations about what is happening, you chose not to refer to the elephant in the room. That is, UMNO-POLITICS and how it had damaged the sense of confidence of the Malays and inadvertently, enhances and sharpens the competitive spirit and the survivial instincts of the non Malays especially the Chinese Malaysians.

UMNO-POLITICS is too narrowly defined in terms of race and religion to the detriment of the nation in general and to the Malay community in particular. That is the elephant in the room not willingly discussed by the Malay elites, except for a courageous few, like you.

v,  17 January 2010 at 00:02  

Dato Sak,

I have been an ardent follower of your postings, sometimes agreeing with it and sometimes, not. I refrain most times from commenting, fearing my 'upstairs' not clever enough.

You feel very strongly about most of the issues that you have posted. Please do not bring yourself down to the level of some your critics. Unfortunately for some, being offensive is the only way but YOU are bigger than that…

Anyway, just to add my few cents worth here. I sent my two children to national schools, primary at Sek Sri Petaling and later to SMK Tamn SEA, PJ. They had good and caring teachers, they did well in their studies and extra curriculum activities. Both in private colleges, they are confident in their studies. Have friends of various races and during semester breaks get to turn their hobbies into money earning part-time jobs. (They and us, do have their and our down or angry with the world moments but we try to keep our channel of communication open at all times, and being angry at the deeds not at the person etc)

As parents, we are responsible for our children’s education and character developments. The schools are just tools and teachers the conduit of information. Money, time and other facilities are bonuses.

Unfortunately for some parents, it is work all the time – the poor or not so well, just so they can put food on the table and shelter above their heads. Some children come from broken homes and most often than not had to fend for themselves after school hours. These children need help.

Dato Sak, the school curriculum may not be perfect, the teachers some dedicated and some, not. Perhaps what the government can do is to REALLY help the poor and totally let the affordable parents pay for their children’s education.

Why give free textbooks to all children? Set a ceiling for earnings. Give financial aid to poor students only, at residential schools and normal schools and later at universities local or abroad. Let affordable parents pay.

Save the money for what is really more important. Have smaller number of children in each classrooms, I suppose that means bigger schools and more teachers.

Reduce the number of subjects or have exams only for subjects that have bearings later in life. We after all require only 6As or credits to gain entry into any universities. But let the so inclined take 10 or 16 subjects if they want.

I am certain we have more than ample, qualified thinkers and practitioners that can help the government in this matter. Politicians, please just be politicians. Forget about being nationalistic, patriotic. Focus on being realistic.

Less exam subjects means less stress on many teachers and the students. Then they can really focus. Smaller classrooms also mean more attention on individual students.

If a student is aware that the teacher cares, it is motivation enough for him to want to work hard even if there is nobody at home to monitor him.

Ramlan 17 January 2010 at 13:34  

Dear Frank,
I agree with your pts. Also, yes, I am refraining from getting into politics per se here and merely barely managing to skirt around it. We are already lamenting politicians hijacking education, as such I do not wish to dwell into education from a political perspective.
As I see it, the Malays are the majority in this country, if they do not wish to see changes or improvements it becomes that much harder to see changes. That's the thrust of my question if they actually feel the hunger to excel themselves.
IMHO the beautiful thing in a democracy is freedom of choice.
Only the blind and deaf do not see what's now happening or the past or under whose watch things have deteriorated. Logically will lead us to politicians. Not that I am advocating that democracy works every 4-5 years. The fact that I bother to write to discuss issues proves I exercise democracy when I deem fit. Also I wish to stay on topic. I have no issues if you wish to stray into politics. Surely Dato will not too being a politician himself. Well, I am already off topic. Shd stop here b4 I get carried away. Happens often when you age :)

Anonymous,  18 January 2010 at 11:10  

I think the best is to get a good english teacher to teach english language in SRK schools.

Anonymous,  19 January 2010 at 19:42  

saudara varagian rus,

masalah negara kita tampak sekali dalam hujah anda. kata saudara:

"KAMI menjaga hati KAMU. KAMI tahu KAMU pandai dan KAMI pun tak pernah kata ANDA tak pandai. Tapi dalam masa yg sama KAMI tak suka dibodohkan, setelah KAMI memberi apa yg KAMU hendak."

hujah saudara seandainya kita dua negara, satu yang memerintah dan satu lagi yang diperintah, satu yang memberi manakala satu yang meminta. dengan senang kita mencari contoh di indonesia sedangkan lupanya kita kemerdekaan negara tercinta hanya tercapai dengan adanya kerjasama daripada semua kaum. perlu kita paham yang hak pendidikan vernakular untuk kaum bukan melayu dah lama termaktub dalam perjanjian kemerdekaan dan perlembagaan negara.

soal disini ialah kualiti pendidikan negara. tapi rasa saya paling elok kalau kita wajibkan semua ahli politik, wakil rakyat dan menteri menteri menghantar anak cucu mereka ke sekolah awam kerajaan, tak kira srk atau srjk. kalau begitu saya jamin kualiti pendidikan tempatan akan bukan main melonjak dua tiga darjat..

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