Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Of Politics, Education and Racial Harmony

I read a very interesting commentary by a fellow Malaysian, Mr Sern Li Lim on the subject of racial politics and our people here. It was a very well-written piece and he summed up some very interesting observations about the link between political decisions in our country and the failure to integrate and promote true and meaningful racial tolerance and understanding among Malaysians.

We do need to re-visit our past to determine what went wrong with our Education System that had so thorough produced the current state of segregation among our students of different races, from the primary level right up to our universities. It wasn't that long ago when those from our parents' generation were a lot less uptight about many things which are deemed taboo or socially unacceptable now. Of course, much drastic changes have taken place throughout all stratas of society since those early Merdeka days. How much of the good have we reaped from the changes that we can be proud of today as compared to what our parents had back then?

Do take a moment to read the above article if you, like me, aspire to see a day when our country will be populated by citizens (and politicians) who understand the true value of living harmoniously in a multi-racial and multi-cultural society.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Chong Zhemin said...

Of course our nation will be more peaceful and harmonius if more people have the same thoughts as you. However the political frame is still there. Politicians needs to be racist to get support! Just look at the UMNO-pemuda.

I fervently hope that one day all these racial issue can come to an end. It might take a long long time, but i'll wait for the day to come....

19/10/05 11:20  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

I rather myself an optimist in that I believe most parents with school-going children will welcome our MOE to take a good re-look at our whole Education structure if only for the sake of the future of our country and its citizens. It is a pity though that at present not enough noise is being made by the public to demand for changes to be made. Unless and until enough pressure are exerted by the silent majority, we will continue to be saddled with an outdated mode of instruction and syllabus content, not to mention all that has gone so wrong with the administration of national schools these days.

I mean, in this day and age of the new millenium, our kids are still studying by rote and our examination format demanded nothing more taxing than a regurgitation of memorised information. Most developed countries have in fact moved away from such outmoded practice to embrace teaching methods emphasising creativity and the ability to think out of the box in problem solving. We need to create an education system that can produce workers who are global in outlook and able to compete and survive in a borderless world simply because there is no way our government can create enough civil jobs to absorb our local graduates year after year.

19/10/05 14:56  
Blogger leeyn said...

>> need to create an education system that can produce workers who are global in outlook and able to compete and survive in a borderless world <<

how true.....

malaysia simply & sorely lack this vision of new educ system.

i was watching (partial only) to an interview on astro - talking about some kindy educ program in singapore. the interviewee says we need to think/plan ahead what the world/market really wants in next 15-20 years time and prepare our kids for that requirement.

i supposed our system fall far short of this... my kids only worry about her next month test and her teacher has no idea what a browser is....(blouse, yes)

on the racial piece, what do u think we drop all these malay/india/chinese stream schools, and start (anew) only english school ? old bottle but new wine ?

may be - too early to dream lar - only 8:30 am now.

20/10/05 08:29  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Leeyn,
Thanks for your comments. I think most forward thinking and urban Malaysians would like to see a return to the English-medium type of national schools but the reality is that it is near impossible to implement. The greatest obstacle would be to find the required number of teachers who could teach in English to fill up all the schools! As it is, the new generation of teachers can hardly string a full sentence in grammatically correct English. But the thing is, even if our MOE can't possibly implement the English medium school for all to replace all these vernacular-type schools, that doesn't mean that they cannot revamp the whole syllabus and the teaching methods. It would be good for our kids to move away from the exam-oriented mode of studying which encourage spoon-feeding and mindless memorisation of information.

20/10/05 11:57  
Blogger H J Angus said...

They can revert to English medium if they decide.

All it takes is one batch of new teachers to pass through teachers' training college and that is about 3 years.

All teachers who resign or are sacked will be replaced with teachers who can teach in English.

25/10/05 19:47  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

The question is H J Angus, how many teachers can be produced in each batch? It will only work if we can supply all schools with these newly trained teachers who are competent to teach in English. If it is done one a piece-meal basis, it will be even more "kelam-kabut".

25/10/05 22:16  
Blogger H J Angus said...

cik amoi
of course a change in policy must take a few years to implement.

I would do this by changing a few schools in the major towns and then work from there.

So maybe in year three, target is 10 schools, year 4 get 30 schools and so on.

Once parents realise that the MOE is serious about these schools, they will cooperate.
But we cannot have people in MOE waving keris!

The lack of trust has been caused by the changed nature of some government schools and it will take a long time to change.

26/10/05 16:16  

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