Exam oriented education system

Don’t over glorify a few,encourage the majority

It was indeed sad to read your report “Girl jumps from third floor over SPM results” (NST,March 14).

Every year we witness a number of such untoward incidents as a result of examination failure, which simply implies a failure of our education system, which puts so much emphasis on academic excellence alone. The teachers are not alone to be blamed. We too, as parents and society as a whole, share the blame for the obsession with As.

Today school examinations have become like a race where we place our bet on the horses,our children.We go all out spending invaluable time,money and energy to ensure they win the race with flying colours.

It has become a practice of our media to over glorify those who score maximum A’s in their examination. They encourage the notion that collecting maximum A’s,is life all  is about. This practice of the media aggravates the ill effects of the already examination orientated education system of ours.

We must realize that these top scorers are just a small percentage of the total student population. The majority are the average scorers with 4-6A’s.However much we encourage and coax our students, only a few will  become maximum scorers and this is a fact of life we all have to accept.

These high achievers must be rewarded accordingly, but it is equally important to ensure the others are also taken care. It is more important to encourage the majority to excel in things for which they have a liking and aptitude. Opportunities must made available to these students as well.

By over glorifying these top scorers, tremendous psychological pressure is placed on the majority to ape them. This causes a great amount of stress on students in school these days. Those with average or even above average result are made to feel useless and a failure in school. 

Every school should have qualified counselors to educate and help students overcome the trauma of examinations. Even those who fail miserably should not be discouraged. They should be shown other opportunities available to them, in which they can excel. After all, experience has shown us that, there is more to life than passing exams with flying colours. 

Let us, parents, teachers and all members of society, reinforce ourselves that schools are for educating the minds of our young men and women and not a place to collect As it appears to be at present. This was exactly the reason for changing the name of the education ministry from Kementerian Pelajaran to Kementerian Pendidikan some time ago. The government now has promised to rectify the problem and we hope it would do so fast.

Dr.Chris Anthony                                                                               

Published in: on April 1, 2006 at 9:56 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Genius is naught but a greater aptitude for patience….

    The Knight of the Sorrowful Countenance….

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