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cluster schools

Its about time I wrote a new post for RANDTS. Somehow, education has turned out to be my thing on this blog. It isn't intentional, but somehow, these kinda things seem to flow..

So, its about time the Education Ministry got it right. After all the crap over the past years, from PTS to the whole SPM A chasing phenomenon, to the deterioration of teacher quality and the STPM-Matriculation fiasco, I think it is about time they got ONE thing right.

The whole cluster school idea makes perfect sense. Why? For one, we all know that in every school, there are a certain number of parents who will get involved through the PTA. I don't want to over idealise the influence of parents, but I have to say, it will be good for them to play a role in shaping the school too. Most of them know, through their kids who the crappy teachers are. They also know, through their kids, what kind of crap goes on in schools. In other words, the PTAs role in schools will be to get their children's interests across. The PTA will keep teachers in line too. Seperation of powers is here a good thing. Giving parents a larger say means more checks and balances in schools

Ok, that whole PTA thing, isn't the main thing that makes the cluster school idea great, though it does guarantee a higher level of success during implementation. What makes it great it that finally excellent students wont be held back. The whole standardized test thing has obviously left many unchallenged, hence the tendency to take 17 subjects in SPM. The excellent kids have mastered the exam process so well that its no sweat for them anymore. Its about time we allowed them to move on to bigger things. With cluster schools, each school will be able to create a niche for themselves, be it through sports (hockey for Anderson and RPS) brass band (Victoria Institution and Keat Hwa) or debate (Damansara Jaya, RMC). These fields which are right now merely "cocurricular" can now be intergrated into the school system. In my university here, you get college credit for playing in the marching band, to my knowledge, when I was in SMI, all you got was a certificate, and maybe a darker skin colour.

Another way cluster schools could prove useful, is if teachers were allowed to teach classes outside the syllabus and for students to be awarded credit for that as well. Stuff like European History, Advanced Math, Psychology, Sociology, Theatre, Public Speaking, Music: both contemporary and classical, all should be taught to students who are capable of handling the subjects. They provide an opportunity for the excellent ones to test out the waters in these fields. Ever wondered why our local music scene is so "lemah"? Maybe because schools don't teach music. Why does local TV suck, maybe we don't encourage acting enough in schools. Lets not hold the good ones back with our current system. I'm all for these cluster schools.

2 mad rant(s):



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  1. kuffar lime said...

    Cluster schools are totally farcical. Schools are given the status through political moves and ultra-nationalistic muscle flexing. We also have to realise just like the Smart School project, cluster schools will very likely amount to very little difference.  

  2. timothy wong said...

    to be honest.. i'm beginning to grow weary of pessimism..... everyone seems to shoot down EVERY single plan the government has.. if they were really pure evil.. then we'd be in bigger trouble than this... the great thing about cluster schools is that the power ultimately falls in our hands.. as ex-students, parents.. etc.. we have a shot at making it work... we should be giving every project our best shot.... that is of course if we still believe in malaysia.. that probably is the more pertinent question....  


 

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