Our obsolete education system

Normally, I don’t like to involve myself in anything of a political nature but it’s time to do this. After all, 52 years of achieving independence hasn’t changed anything much, except maybe going down into the gutter of hopelessness.

When I was in school, I remembered my school bag was not as heavy as compared to the children of today. Every morning when I send my eldest son to school, it pains me to see his two (yes, TWO) book-laden schoolbags weighing him down. Gosh, Malaysia will soon have a nation of weighlifters soon and we’d surely do well in the Olympics.

When I was in school, rote learning was already the order of the day. Must be because of what we inherited from the now outdated British education system. Facts and figures committed to memory. Heck, it’s a memory game here, not learning! What do we get from memorizing things anyway?

And why do children have to lug those massive schoolbags to school? Why must they bring ALL their textbooks & exercise books everyday? Won’t those in their daily timetable do just as well? Why have a timetable in the first place then?

When I was in Melbourne, I had the opportunity to visit the Royal Melbourne Zoo. I saw scores of happy schoolchildren eagerly WANTING to learn new things. Amongst them, studying the lions – the colour of their manes, male lions with manes and female lionesses without. The delighted children would sit down on the grass sketching the lions. And this is not rote learning. It’s observation and putting what each of us see individually or perceive, on paper.

That is called learning.

As we advance into the future, we need to equip new skills like making the most of new technology. Otherwise we’d be left far, far behind. It’s time Malaysia had a hard look into the education system. And please – leave the politics out of it.


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