With the shocking recent 2022 SPM (11th year) exam outcomes, various pundits have voiced their opinions.
One group maintains that the UPSR (sixth year) exams should be re-introduced to weed out non-performers before moving students to the upper streams.
Another group says that poor competencies in reading and writing are the reason students failed to get the grades in the SPM exams.
Many have been driven by despair, enough to believe that forking out hard- earned money – to put their children through more hours of private tuition classes – is a solution.
Then there is the problem of ever-changing text books. This, too, has also been said to be one reason for the high rate of failures.
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The real problem is our lack of honesty to face the bitter truth: our education policies lie at the root of all our failures to get children to leave school, let alone excel, as productive human beings.
For decades, education policies have been marred by an endless stream of racial and religious political agendas, and this has eroded the quality of our teachers.
So, let’s ask some important questions. How many teachers today read at least one books (let alone half a dozen) a year which they would have bought with their own money out of a simple desire to read and gain knowledge? How many teachers today can write or speak confidently?
The inability to write and speak well may be why we are seeing more graduates applying to join the workforce who are unable to write their own biodata or profiles accurately or to speak with confidence?
Will the Ministry of Education have the courage to rewrite the policies and enrich the quality of our teachers?
Can our teaching profession be transformed? Can we begin to develop healthy competition among our students to excel? Hasn’t competition always been an effective motivator?
Or will the system remain a political channel that maintains strict unfair ethnic quotas to appease a majority of voters from a particular ethnic group?
When the teaching profession fails to produce satisfactory grades, the system has failed. When five to six hours of school is insufficient and students are expected to attend hours of private tuition, we should know the system has definitely failed!
So let’s stop this endless whitewashing and witch hunting. Let’s be bold and call a spade a spade! Let’s revamp our outdated education policies and free them from the tentacles of race and politics.
If we fail to make these changes, we will continue to produce young adults without the education and skills required for the country to progress.