“Today we pride ourselves over the present system but what is the system that puts one through preschool, primary, secondary, university, post graduate but the end products are not able to speak and write English let alone be able to articulate and address a variety of public policy and social issues?”
NO TIME FOR EXPERIMENTS – GOVT URGED TO BE ADMINISTRATORS OF TESTED PUBLIC POLICY INITIATIVES SAYS PROF DR JACOB GEORGE
We cannot deny that the joys and euphoria of May 9th is over and consumer sentiments of late hitting rock bottom.
One would be foolish to think that the dragging of individuals in and out of courts, charging them, facilitating huge bail payments is the answer to all present consumer predicament, grouses and challengers!
While justice issues should take its course unabated, public policy initiatives must also be realistic to present holistic change in the nation.
We cannot have repeated U-turns, dragging of decision making processes, when racist anti-change political groups spook the majority race, initiate demonstrations and pressure the government in maintaining a negative status quo that is unrealistic if Malaysia is to emerge as a developed nation!
Many mistakes have been made already, among them, the replacing of the GST with the SST!
Despite the GST being a fairer consumer tax if implemented accordingly, while the SST harbors, insulates, breeds and mushrooms the black market monopolies!
Today in this mix, we cannot also deny that voters are hurt at the engineered by-elections, vicious dirty party elections, policy claims and U-turns.
Much was promised but unfulfilled and sadness permeates with the perception of betrayal of those who sacrificed, risked all and made it a point to cast their votes in the last national elections, many traveling huge distances at great personal costs to save Malaysia!
One area of recent concern has been the proposal to again tinker with an educational system that already is in a state of “chaos and embarrassment” when compared with the education systems of leading nations in the world!
May we humbly ask whose idea was it to scrap exams in government lower primary schools?
Were there serious conversation’s with stakeholders, experts in the field and with those who first were the founding fathers of educational processes in the region, so that if change comes and to be implemented, it should be one workable not another political stunt manipulated with a strategic political agenda and discourse, where our children become the “guinea pigs” of someone’s wild aspirations?
Let us not forget – exams are indeed important because they measured outcomes.
Just because a cross section of disillusioned politicians, educationists, teachers, heads of schools, even parents are not up to the challenge, out of personal handicaps, do we nationally do away with examinations!
The same can be said of those who toyed with the Malaysia’s education system from 1975!
It is mischievous of current education Minister Maszlee Malik to state that the decision to scrap exams in lower primary schools was to restore the spirit and principles of the 2011 School-Based Assessment system, but when challenged – did not explain more.
Worst, when members of the educational elite themselves go on a frolic, trying to justify a exam do-away citing Finland!
We are of course aware of Finland’s achievements and their stellar education system!
But Malaysia is not Finland!
In Finland and in several other countries education is not polarized neither political with pressures and overtones of racial, religious quotas and repeated political tinkering!
And looking at the system, we have today in comparison with what we had prior to 1975, it is clear – we have failed!
But proud to not admit when challenged!
Today we pride ourselves over the present system but what is the system that puts one through preschool, primary, secondary, university, post graduate but the end products are not able to speak and write English!
They are not able to manage challengers, think outside the box having steeped into silos thinking for decades!
But they have their academic qualifications!
I have interviewed a great many graduates and post graduate candidates, supervised their masters and doctoral work but strictly speaking shocked at what we have produced!
Do not stop there but look at Malaysian politicians, civil servants, diplomats, corporate big-wigs, TV News and Airline crews reading, writing, speaking skills and those of managing!
They super struggle even reading a printed text or speech!
I am sure we have not forgotten the UN speech by our then deputy premier which sent shock waves across many countries!
As such, the idea of no exams is yet another death kill to an education system that currently struggling and does not work to prepare us for a global challenge or real world!
We should not forget that exams offer us valuable insights into a student’s progress in acquiring and evaluating knowledge.
Like all things in life – examinations positions a student to test oneself if one has the resources and skills to deal and survive in the real world!
Yes, the process is challenging and stressful!
That is not new and so are life’s challengers from cradle to grave!
And anyone trying to create anything other than this is doing a great disservice to not just education but to the rights, interests and future of Malaysians!