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


Hipokrasi Cina Pendatang Amat Memualkan

14 08 2012


Omegay: Hua Zong – Longgar Syarat Kemasukan Hina Sektor Awam

  • Laporan Sin Chew Daily mengenai kenyataan Presiden Gabungan Pertubuhan Cina Malaysia (Hua Zong), Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah yang menyarankan agar pengambilan kakitangan awam bukan Melayu dilonggarkan, menyebabkan ramai yang tersenyum sinis. Apatah lagi bila mendengar alasan beliau iaitu: “Saya amat risau jika keadaan ini tidak dapat diubah, kerana akan berlaku jurang yang amat ketara dan akan semakin memburuk sehingga lama-kelamaan akan berlaku kesan sampingan lain.”
  • Apakah layak Yin Huah bercakap mengenai ‘jurang antara kaum’ apabila beliau adalah antara juara yang berdegil ingin memastikan jurang tersebut terus wujud dan semakin besar bermula dari bangku sekolah lagi?  Beliau dan juga Dong Zong sama-sama tegar memperjuangkan agar jurang ini diteruskan sehingga sekolah menengah malah hingga peringkat universiti dengan menuntut agar sijil dari Universiti-universiti tertentu yang bertunjangkan bahasa Cina diiktiraf.  
  • Justeru, apakah Yin Huah begitu bodoh kerana tidak tahu bahawa jurang antara kaum tidak akan wujud jika semua anak-anak Malaysia bersekolah bersama-sama? Atau lebih tepat, jurang antara kaum mungkin telah lama terhapus jika Hua Zong, Dong Zong dan NGO-NGO yang seangkatan dengan mereka tidak wujud sama sekali di Malaysia.  
  • Meloyakan sekali apabila kini Yin Huah tiba-tiba ‘merasa risau’ pula jika jurang tersebut menjadi lebih besar di alam pekerjaan.
  • Cadangan Yin Huah agar kemasukan ke sektor awam dilonggarkan menyerlahkan sikapnya yang dwistandard.  Kelayakan untuk masuk ke sektor awam mewajibkan seseorang itu fasih berbahasa Melayu dengan keputusan kredit di dalam peperiksaan.  Ini adalah sesuatu yang ‘semulajadi’ memandangkan Bahasa Melayu adalah bahasa rasmi negara.  Pastinya, Yin Huah sedar bahawa penyebab kurangnya kaumnya diterima masuk ke sektor awam adalah kerana ‘kredit Bahasa Melayu’ ini dan kerana itulah beliau menyarankan agar syarat ini dilonggarkan.
  • Kita telah sedia maklum bahawa selama ini, kaum Cina juga yang begitu beria-ia memperjuangkan sistem merit, maka kenapa pula mereka merungut apabila sistem merit itu tidak menepati ‘citarasa’ mereka?
  • Adalah tidak wajar jika kita meminta agar kelonggaran diberikan iaitu menurunkan taraf kelayakan Bahasa Melayu hanya untuk memastikan lebih ramai kaum lain dapat bekerja di sektor awam kerana ia juga bermakna menurunkan ‘standard’ atau kualiti kakitangan awam.
  • Sedangkan kita marah apabila taraf kelayakan di universiti diturunkan bagi memastikan lebih ramai mereka dari latarbelakang yang susah berpeluang melanjutkan pelajaran.  Maka, kenapa kita perlu menerima saranan penyelesaian yang sama iaitu menurunkan taraf kelayakan semata-mata untuk meramaikan kaum lain (baca: Cina) di dalam sektor awam?
  • Yin Huah tidak perlu berlakon seolah-olah beliau prihatin dengan semangat perpaduan antara kaum di Malaysia kerana kita tahu bahawa itu tidak benar.  Kita faham apa yang Yin Huah risaukan di sini ialah mengenai meningkatkan penguasaan kaumnya di dalam sektor awam.  Dalam ertikata lain, Yin Huah hanya risaukan mengenai nasib kaumnya semata-mata.
  • Dan ini terbukti dalam penjelasan panjang lebarnya bahawa dengan penambahan kaumnya di dalam sektor awam maka ia akan dapat memastikan perkhidmatan yang lebih baik bagi kaum Cina di satu-satu kawasan itu.  Kenyataan Yin Huah ini seolah-olah menunjukkan yang kaum Cina tidak mendapat perkhidmatan terbaik dari kerajaan.
  • Memandangkan masih ramai kaum Cina warga Malaysia tidak fasih berbahasa kebangsaan, maka mereka seringkali menghadapi masalah apabila berurusan dengan sektor awam.   Dan inilah sebenarnya yang merisaukan Yin Huah, bukannya soal perpaduan.
  • Bagaimanapun, penyelesaian yang disarankan oleh Yin Huah iaitu menambah bilangan kaum Cina di sektor awam adalah satu cadangan yang chauvinis, tidak praktikal, pentingkan diri dan menggambarkan sikap perkauman yang amat kronik.
  • Sedangkan sepatutnya Yin Huah menyeru agar kaum Cina memperkasakan dan mencintai bahasa kebangsaan sebagai seorang warganegara yang setia bagi mengatasi masalah berurusan dengan sektor awam.  Malah, lebih baik lagi jika Yin Huah menyeru agar kaum Cina menghantar anak mereka ke sekolah kebangsaan bagi memantapkan bukan sahaja bahasa kebangsaan, tetapi juga perpaduan serta semangat patriotisme terhadap negara ini. 
  • Seharusnya, Yin Huah menuntut kaum Cina agar belajar menyesuaikan diri untuk ‘survival’ dan bukannya menuntut supaya seluruh sistem, undang-undang, perlembagaan, prosedur dan seluruh struktur sosial di Malaysia disesuaikan dengan kehendak dan keperluan kaum Cina!
  • Apakah signifikannya ‘kaum Cina’ berbanding kaum lain di Malaysia?
  • Sesungguhnya, hipokrasi Yin Huah dan Hua Zong amatlah memualkan.  Sampai bila agaknya mereka ini akan berpijak di bumi nyata, menerima hakikat bahawa mereka bukan lagi berada di negara China tetapi telah menjadi warga Malaysia, iaitu negara berbilang kaum dengan penduduk asalnya adalah Melayu yang beragama Islam serta menggunakan Bahasa Melayu?
  • Kita cabar Hua Zong agar membuang sifat hipokrit dan berdiri atas nama ektremisme Cina yang sebenar tanpa perlu berselindung lagi.  Tidak perlu pura-pura mengeluh risaukan jurang antara kaum, atau menuntut orang lain agar mendahulukan Malaysia sebelum bangsa, kerana bukan semua orang lain itu bodoh sehingga tidak dapat membaca agenda anda. – Beruang Biru