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Sunday, November 28, 2010

The State of Malaysian Education

My heart sank when I read the report HERE about how a teacher, who is also a CHIEF INVIGILATOR, allegedly made racist remarks in front of some 180 students at a school examination hall in Lukut, near Port Dickson, on Wednesday morning. I pity the 180 SPM candidates who had to experience added trauma before they took a major public examination that would decide their fate in higher education. What on earth is wrong with the state of Malaysian education? What sort of example is this CHIEF Invigilator setting to others???




I am completely befuddled as to how ANYONE would have the audacity to publicly make such statements, especially one who has been given the responsibility of moulding the minds, intellect and behavior of students!!!

Has there been any public statement from the authorities about this ridiculous and shameful incident? I have yet to see one. If I have missed any relevant posting in response to this incident, please let me know.

Many of us are well aware of similar incidents that occurred of late, so shameful that I do not want to highlight them again. However, why is it that despite the wide and negative incidents about such racist behavior/utterances, there are still those who DARE to behave publicly in this way?

How can any role model make such statements for all and sundry? Are there OTHER such incidents which are unreported because the victims FEAR backlash from the authorities? What would be the effects of such consequences not just on the student population of that school but on society as a whole?

Obviously, racism is a learned trait. If those in higher positions of power or those in the limelight are brazen enough to call others 'pendatang' or 'prostitute' and other derogatory terms and to ask them to 'leave', others are likely to follow suit! This is especially true when little action has been taken to punish previous culprits!

When racism is ingrained in leaders, racist tendencies/behavior/utterances are likely to have far reaching consequences on followers or observers, both consciously and unconsciously.

  • What action has been taken against this teacher?
  • Was she taken to task by the school authorities and the Education Department?
  • Has she given a public apology to the students?
  • Has she been removed as an invigilator in that school?
  • Can you imagine what would have happened if it had been a teacher of another race making the same statement to a different group of students in a different type of school??? I am sure you know what I mean!

According to a comment HERE, the school has been credited with a high degree of discipline. As Chief Invigilator, this person must be quite a senior person who should have experience in education and awareness of the school's good reputation. However, any racist outburst would reflect poorly on anyone regardless of their social status. Is this person still serving as Chief Invigilator?

I am sure many of the students are deeply affected. Can they sit for an exam with a clear mind and perspective if:

* the person has not apologized?
* such behavior continues and is unreported?
* others are influenced?

Since our education system does not teach critical thinking skills, many students are not trained to think independently. Ironically, the system preaches the importance of moral education while our politicians publicly wax lyrical about 1Malaysia. As such, how would the younger set be equipped to handle challenging situations like this one? Would their lips be zipped from fear or would they stand up for what truth and justice?

I could go on and on ranting about this issue but one thing is clear.

If educators themselves do not understand the functions of education and respect those who are looking up to them and supposedly learning from teachers, what will happen to the next generation?

I certainly hope that such problems will be nipped in the bud as soon as possible.

Very stern action MUST be taken to punish offenders. This will be a STRONG DETERRENT to others so that they do not vilify innocent young people who might be deeply scarred by such incidents.

Teachers must teach more than the formal education to students. They have a moral responsibility to socialise young people to adopt norms, values and mores in society so that they can function as accepted members.

Teachers must emphasise moral responsibilities in society that students should have display towards each other. When these students grow up and become parents in the future, they will then pass on these learned values, norms, patterns of behavior and social traits to their children. In this way, social order can be maintained.

Just imparting literacy and numeracy or job-specific skills according to the specifications in formal education is not enough. Informal education via socialization is just as important. Obviously, something is wrong here.

And what do we have? Changes in policies as and when decision-makers feel like it without considering the needs and implications for the country and the student population. We are certainly losing our global competitiveness and the brain drain will continue! That's it - we have a recipe for disaster that is being 'improved' by such educators!

So what are the authorities doing about this pathetic state of education in our country? Are they willing to take action? Only time will tell!!!

courtesy of masterwordsmith unplugged

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