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going liberal

All this has been sitting around, so I'm finally putting in the effort to upload it. :)

Liberalizing Education
People do best at the things they like and are good at. If we hold true to this principle then another facet of our education system should be to help students discover the talents they have and the fields they are best in. What is ironic is that our education system seems to take every effort to deny students this opportunity.

We give them 3 years of lower secondary education culminating in the PMR where we separate the "sheep from the goats." We put all those with straight As and anything close to straight As in the Science stream labeling them the cream of the crop and then we place all the rest in the Vocational and Technical stream and unofficially label them the goats of society. At least in my school, picking our own subjects is not an option. You take what packages are offered or get out and find another school that will suit your preference. No such thing as dropping one or two science subjects in exchange for geography,economics or art. We force our children into streams giving them no space to pursue dreams, passions and ideas they held when they were kids. I commend schools that allow a mix of science, arts, business and humanities classes providing students a chance to study topics and subjects they are interested in. People like Mr. Karu in SMI's form 6 program don't realise the potential succesful individuals they are destroying by disallowing them to pursue their fields of interest. The last time I checked, students wanting to study was a good thing. Why then do we deny them the opportunity by forcing all smart kids into the science stream diminishing the importance of humanities.

What we need to be do is liberalize our education system. The administrators and teachers have way too much a say as to what we can and cannot do, what subjects we can and cannot study. Assuming we can successfully teach our students the medium of learning in primary school, we should from there on aim to help them discover the area that they are passionate in and talented in. Variety should be a good thing. Each student should have an individual curriculum that best suits their needs and likes and abilities. There should be nothing wrong with a student studying psychology, biology and mathematics all at the same time just as how it is perfectly fine for a student to study pure science or pure humanities. What we are aiming at during secondary education is to help them find the areas they are best in and begin teaching them the process of learning through the classes they are interested in. Information and head knowledge can come later.

6 mad rant(s):

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  1. Comrade said...

    Liberalising education is good thing but think about the logistics involved. Students would be all over the place. However, allowing students to take subjects of choice without having to change the specific "package" classes would be a good start.

    Why "good" students normally aim for the Science Stream? It's firstly because only studious people can tackle science. "Weak" students have do the Humanities. In the end average students mostly opt for science to avoid the "weaklings". That observation seems to apply only for SPM as I was a "victim" of this "culture".

    One thing to note is in order to liberalise education massive reforms must be undertaken. Anyway, some people fear liberalisation will bring up a generation of awhole 'anak durhaka' that erode our "Eastern" culture by challenging "authority".  

  2. Comrade Cripple said...

    I apologise if my comment is offensive. Please don't "crucify" me.  

  3. joe said...

    i tink u're right, tim... we shldnt b tied down by "packages". being a victim of d "package" myself, always wanted 2 do arts but was forced into science coz those in arts r d "goats".

    [comrade]: regarding logistics... a good alternative would b running it lyk a university style. u go 4 classes when ur time comes, depending on d subjects u sign 4  

  4. Henry Yew said...

    I have to agree with you, Tim.

    And Comrade... erm, Joe gave you the answer already. Haha...  

  5. timothy wong said...

    hey comrade... don't worry... i'm not the crucifixion type.... haha... thanks for your opinion... i think the edu system needs a major overhaul which will involve radical changes if we really want to see the improvement in our human capital Pak Lah so often talks about. Radical changes will bring radical results but you're right to say we should start by loosening the package system. That is the first step.

    As for good students and science, to me that is more of a social stereotype than a matter of talent. The reason why our humanities suck is because we don't have good students in it. Our science stream, which is i admit, pretty advanced compared to the US is at that level because the cream of the crop study science. Should we compromise on our quality of science to allow weaker students more time to bloom? that's controversial, but should we ignore humanities... definitely not...  

  6. hire term paper writing service said...

    First of all, it should be said that it could provide a more profound insight in the review since it seems as if setting the goals is not sufficient to fully show the problem and the ways of its solution. That is a clever one overview made by a prominent person. Some materials of my friends were also of that kind as well as term paper writing service i guess.  


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