Some areas of concern in the current education system

(File pix) Pupils can’t play during recess because they only have time to eat. Archive image is for illustration purposes only. Pix by Faris Zainuldin

WE are from Malaysia Primary School Parents, a Facebook group that has more than 27,000 members.

We applaud the education minister’s efforts to collect feedback from the public to improve our education system

As we regularly discuss the state of our country’s education system in the group, we would like to highlight some concerns in the current education system:

THE Education Ministry should take a fresh look at why the syllabuses of Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil and Chinese subjects are so hard. We can’t help but wonder if a syllabus as difficult as this is helpful for children in their formative years;

THE ministry should consider removing examinations for lower primary pupils (Years 1 to 3) and give teachers more autonomy to conduct classes in that period. Teachers will then have ample time to help pupils build solid foundations in their language subjects, rather than resort to rote learning and memorisation. It will allow teachers to inculcate values in the pupils, such as independence, innovativeness, critical thinking, civic-mindedness, respect for elders and love for the environment

LENGTHEN  the period per subject in the daily schedule so that instead of bringing to school books for six subjects, students need only bring three or four;

THERE should be subjects like art, music, drama and creative writing to allow self-expression in children. Engage teachers trained in these subjects;

INTRODUCE more learning outside of the classroom, as well as the development of life skills. Books can only teach so much;

PUPILS can’t play during recess because they only have time to eat. Perhaps emphasise Physical Education.

IF high-stake exams are staying, the ministry could re-evaluate the need for compulsory passes for subjects like History and Moral Studies in public exams;

RE-EVALUATE the difficulty gaps that affect students when they move from one level to the next. For example, Year 3 to 4, Year 6 to Form 1 and Form 3 to 4;

STREAM students in Form 4 based on their results rather than on their personal interests;

BRING back the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English policy; and,

ENSURE the education system is free from political influence, and racial and religious issues.

By Malaysia Primary School Parents

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