Towards Improving Our National Education System

14 08 2012

Around circles of readers, many have discussed and asked among themselves the appropriateness and the need for Malaysia to streamline their education system and importantly, the effort to improve the quality of our schools as a whole.

Chief among the concerns is the legality of vernacular schools itself vis-á-vis the Constitution and the Education Act 1996.

This I may add has been discussed rather thoroughly here.

But this issue shall be discussed at another time.

My main interpretation of school’s education system is this:

It must be free from any religious or cultural extremities.

In a way, it should be secular. Secular sounds dirty these days. Mainly because the word had been bastardised to the extent, it meant atheism or a belief system that is devoid of any religious connotations. Worse, it meant anti-Islam. However, the definition of secularism with regards to our children’s education should not be taken to the extreme. Certainly it does not mean that one rejects religion and faith in totality.

What we need is moderation.

These days, the majority of school children in national schools are Malays. Therefore, inadvertently Islamic teachings made their way into the schools’ general rules and education philosophy. I assume, those who are more objective as well as those who are not a fan of Anwar Ibrahim will pin point the cause of this ‘Islamisation’ of our national schools and the reason why non-malays shun these schools stemmed from the period when Anwar Ibrahim was the Education Minister.

That too, is an issue that can be discussed in another place.

But what I imagine is a school system that do not put too much emphasis on skin deep outlook on what is Islamic and what is not. It means, an education philosophy that prioritises worldly skills and knowledge instead of just focussing to permeate an intense Islamic culture within a school’s environment.

Without a doubt, this has made non Muslims felt alienated in their own surroundings. Parents were not happy. Even the less conservative Muslims found it hard to digest some of the do’s and don’ts. The effort to educate the children properly seems lost in the midst of all this. As the result, we cannot develop a well rounded Malaysians who are capable to interact with each other with ease.

In other words, the recent education system is worse than the education set in the 60’s, 70’s and till the mid 80’s. Experts pin pointed it due to the degradation of national schools; both in quality and self respect.

The cliché now is the world is changing at a rate faster than our children’s ability to absorb and comprehend all the knowledge. If we burden them with misguided priorities, then our future generations are trapped in a cycle of ignorance, or being mediocre at best.

Toning down religious and cultural extremities enables the school to produce a much healthier environment where tolerance is paramount and it breaks down the barriers between races, castes and classes. Emphasising too much on the ritual demands will not breed respect in fact, will isolate the children from each other. It will be “it’s us against them” mentality. And this does not happen in malay majority schools only.

How to move forward and take that jump in order to escape the mediocrity of our education system?

It is about time the Ministry of Education take a stronger role in steering our children’s future away from the negative elements that have been plaguing it. Elements that have always been sniping and eating away the very fabric of one’s edification in growing up within our Malaysian universe.

The bigger objective here is always a two edged sword. One that can improve via knowledge, a whole generation of Malaysians and one that also inculcate the spirit of togetherness and racial harmony among the children.

Of course this can be done with a single stream national education system. Preferably at the primary level.

Delving into few discussions on the one school system, there are obviously few doubts being raised among the concerned readers. Among others, questions regarding the quality of education and syllabus, quality of teachers and their approach, learning environment and school’s infrastructure as well as its overall ability to coalesce different ideologies, religions and cultures into one symbiotic and workable system.

Generally, many agreed that the holistic performance of the students is very important for their own future and this can only be done if the MOE is not weak in steering its direction and truly knows how improvements can be implemented.

One of the reasons why national schools could not generate enough interests from all levels of society is due to its inability to churn good students across the board. Yes we do have excellent schools that produce a myriad of high achievers. But these schools are far from between. The MOE should make all national schools at par with their more affluent counterparts.

Fortunately, all the points above are being discussed in the national education dialog which have been running since April 2012. They have 9 priority fields which they ought to improve which are:

1. quality of teachers

2. quality of headmasters

3. quality of school

4. curriculum and its evaluation

5. multilingual proficiency

6. post-school opportunity

7. role of parents and community

8. knowledge resources in school and its effectiveness

9. teaching methods and administrative structure

This could be the biggest project MOE has embarked since Penyata Razak in 1956 and Rahman Talib Report in 1960.

On that note, I do hope the MOE will reinstate the PPSMI after reviewing the youtube video below.

Thank you.

_________________________

An article by:

Jebat Must Die





Gomen must decide on unity over votes

14 04 2012

 

 

Tuntutan rasis Dong Zong menambahkan lagi jurang perpaduan antara kaum

 

Another follow up article of the racist Dong Zong/DAP rally. Sourced here.

Oleh ZULKIFLI JALIL
pengarang@utusan.com.my

  • DONG Zong cetus isu lagi. Rakyat tidak tahu apa motifnya kali ini. Tapi nampaknya Dong Zong lebih agresif dan serius. Tidak pandang kiri dan kanan lagi berbanding satu dekad lepas.
  • Nampak benar semakin ‘besar kepala’ lagaknya. Penulis tidaklah mahu komen panjang lebar motif perhimpunan Gabungan Persatuan Jawatankuasa Sekolah Cina Malaysia ini atau Dong Zong di Kajang baru-baru ini.
  • Sebab kalau ‘terlangsung’ pengamatan penulis, akan timbul pula kontroversi. Maknanya kontroversi ‘di atas kontroversi’ pula apabila membicarakan soal empat ‘usul besar’ yang dibangkitkan Dong Zong.
  • Dalam empat ini, salah satunya dikehendaki Dong Zong adalah mahu pihak Kementerian Pelajaran memindahkan segera guru-guru yang dihantar ke SJKC pada sesi persekolahan awal tahun ini yang tidak tahu berbahasa Cina. Ini termasuk guru-guru bahasa Melayu dan bahasa Inggeris.

  • Mengambil pendekatan tidak berpihak, penulis semalam mengajukan kemelut yang dicetuskan Dong Zong ini kepada dua tokoh pendidik, iaitu bekas Ketua Pengarah Pelajaran, Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Arshad yang kini merupakan Canselor Universiti Kolej Sedaya International (UCSI). Dan seorang lagi, profesor yang sering dimomokkan ‘Cina yang bukan Cina lagi’ oleh Dong Zong, Prof. Emeritus, Tan Sri Dr. Khoo Kay Kim.
  • Ikuti suara hati kedua-dua individu ini mengenai tindak tanduk Dong Zong di Kajang tempoh hari.
  • Luahan Tan Sri Abdul Rahman:
  • “RANCANGAN yang dicadangkan Dong Zong ini jelas tidak mahu terima orang bukan Cina di SJKC. Saya amat terperanjat dengan tindak balas ini. Masakan orang Melayu dan India yang mengajar bahasa Melayu dan Inggeris di SJKC semuanya tahu berbahasa Mandarin.
  • Dahulu, kita dapat guru yang mengajar bahasa Inggeris, dia bukannya orang Inggerispun. Kalau yang mengajar bahasa Inggeris di sekolah Melayu pun, tidak semestinya dia boleh berbahasa Melayu.
  • Tindak tanduk Dong Zong ini seolah-olah tidak mahu memberi peluang kepada orang bukan Cina mengajar di SJKC. Tidakkah juga satu pembaziran juga jika orang yang tahu bahasa Cina nak mengajar bahasa Melayu pula.
  • Cuma, satu sahaja yang saya lihat kesan daripada perbuatan Dong Zong ini iaitu menebalkan lagi jurang perpaduan. Masalah kita sekarang adalah perpaduan. Perpaduan bererti kita semua kaum boleh bergaul bersama. Adakah baik sekolah Cina semuanya Cina belaka?
  • Seelok-eloknya yang bagus dalam bidang Geografi mengajar Geografi, bagus dalam bahasa Melayu ajar bahasa Melayu. Apa erti semuanya ini Dong Zong? Adakah anda tidak mahu bangsa asing di SJKC.
  • Kalau tebalkan lagi perkauman, jangan sebutlah kita tentang perpaduan. Yang saya boleh rumuskan ialah Dong Zong tidak mahu bangsa asing selain Cina di SJKC. Saya tak mahulah kaitkan isu ini dengan politik sementelah lagi Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 (PRU13) akan berlaku tidak lama lagi dah.
  • Apa yang saya perhatikan juga ialah sebelum ini belum pernah berlaku tuntutan-tuntutan serius seperti ini. Jika kita melayan Dong Zong, apa akan jadi pula jika sekolah Tamil pun nak begitu iaitu yang hendak mengajar bahasa Melayu di sekolah Tamil, mesti boleh berbahasa Tamil dan di Sarawak pula, kalau ajar bahasa Melayu, harus tahu bahasa Iban.
  • Kita pun di sekolah kebangsaan tidak mahulah yang mengajar bahasa Mandarin mesti tahu bahasa Melayu di sebalik boleh berbahasa Melayu (kebangsaan) itu sebenarnya satu keperluan nasional.
  • Sebenarnya orang boleh menilai Dong Zong ini sebab jelas tuntutannya bertentangan dengan dasar bahasa kebangsaan yang mengutamakan soal perpaduan. Kalau kita berpolitikpun, ia hanyalah politik perpaduan.
  • Sekali lagi kalau kita benarkan tuntutan Dong Zong ini, dikhuatiri nanti kita semua berpecah belah. Yang Melayu dengan Melayunya, Cina dengan Cinanya dan India dengan Indianya.
  • Dan dalam hal ini juga bukannya kerajaan menganaktirikan sekolah Cina. Banyak peruntukan pun telah dihulurkan ke SJKC.
  • Juga, sekali lagi saya ingin ingatkan jika kita melayan tuntutan kecinaan (Dong Zong) ini, ia bukannya untuk hari ini sahaja. Tetapi ia akan menjadi isu kecinaan jangka panjang. Kalau lepas PRU13 pun, ini tetap juga akan dibangkitkan balik. Dan kita pula terpaksa pikulnya untuk jangka masa panjang.
  • Dengan tuntutan Dong Zong ini, ia bererti perpaduan yang dilaung-laungkan tidak ada erti lagi oleh kerana perasaan kecinaan bertambah tebal. Kadang kala bila kita beri ‘betis, mereka nak paha pula.”
  • Kata Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim:
  • “Ini (tuntutan-tuntutan Dong Zong) memang masalah yang hangat dalam politik. Hanya politik ada niat sendiri. Kita tidak tahu apa mereka mahu sebenarnya.
  • Saya pernah dikritik oleh ahli politik UMNO kerana minta supaya Penyata Razak dilaksanakan sebab penyata ini dari awal lagi menyebut objektif utama Dasar Pelajaran Kebangsaan adalah perpaduan negara. Tetapi ahli politik UMNO tidak setuju, apa kita nak buat.
  • Dan akhbar-akhbar Cina pun selalu kritik saya. Sangat susah! bagaimana kita nak wujudkan negara yang bersatu padu. Bagi saya, semua warganegara Malaysia mesti kena tahu bahasa Melayu.
  • Saya inginlah menarik perhatian di sini bahawa hanya Malaysia satu-satunya di dunia yang ada sekolah vernakular. Di negara lain tidak ada. Di Singapura tidak ada sekolah Cina pun.
  • Bahasa Cina bukanlah bahasa kebangsaan. Tindakan Dong Zong ini saya fikir kerana mereka mahu masyarakat Malaysia terus menjadi masyarakat majmuk. Tiap-tiap kaum duduk berasingan.
  • Sedangkan kita sudah menjadi negara bangsa, mana boleh mereka mahu keadaan ini diulangi. Apa maksud warganegara pun mereka tak tahu.
  • Sekarang kita adalah orang Cina di Malaysia, bukannya kita berada di China. Kita sudah jadi orang Malaysiakan.
  • Sebenarnya istilah bangsa suatu ketika dahulupun bermaksud kaum juga. Tetapi selepas Perang Dunia Kedua, apabila PBB ditubuhkan, kita terjemahkan United Nation Organisation sebagai
  • Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB). Bangsa itu nation, bukannya kaum.
  • Saya juga ingin ingatkan juga kalau di China tidak akan ada tuntutan-tuntutan sebegini (yang dilakukan Dong Zong) boleh disaksikan. Apa yang ditetapkan oleh kerajaannya, itulah juga dasar kebangsaan yang mesti dipatuhi. Singapura pun begitu juga, tetapi di sini (Malaysia) lain.
  • Saya bagaimanapun tidak boleh beri pandangan tentang tuntutan-tuntutan Dong Zong ini. Ini disebabkan mereka benci pada saya. Apa saya kata, mereka tidak setuju.
Definitely the Gomen must decide on unity over votes, as the racist Dong Zong and their supporters are in cahoot with the divisive DAP. The Gomen would not lose anything as their votes are already with the DAP, just look at how the hooligans treated the MOE Deputy Minister Dr Wee. Such Shameless Behaviour only reflects a failed education.







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