Why the Malaysian education system doesn’t work, part 3 of 3: Knowledge and Understanding

In this third part of the series, I will try to outline the third part of the label evil industrial globalist, which should be attributed to those who actually like the current Malaysian education system, or at the very least these are their ideological buddies whether they know it or not.

The first part described the industrial part of this label, going back to the reason for the creation of a public school education system, having its foundation in a need for factory workers that could take orders and be compliant. The second part described the evil aspect, outlining briefly – and I do mean briefly – how the current system encourages and spreads evil by systematic abuse and various brainwashing techniques.

So what about the globalist part? How does that fit into the picture? As I said towards the end of the first part, Malaysia is currently engaged in a race to the bottom, to produce the most obedient and ignorant workers, so as to be attractive for outsourcing contracts for multinational corporations. Whoever wins this race, however, and there are certainly many contestants, will be the ultimate loser, and will see its resources drained, both of the natural kind and the human kind.

There is a reason there is a brain drain going on, and it’s not because Malaysia is losing this race. The contempt for critical thinking and analytical discourse is increasing by the minute. Looking at a number of the comments the previous part has garnered on Facebook makes it clear that ridiculing critical thinking is a common practice.

Ironically though, those very comments are exactly what Ponerology describes is the pre-condition for institution of evil systems and pathocracy in a country. Let me requote it for your benefit:

During “happy times” of peace dependent upon social injustice, children of the privileged classes learn to repress from their field of consciousness the uncomfortable ideas suggesting that they and their parents are benefiting from injustice against others. Such young people learn to disqualify and disparage the moral and mental values of anyone whose work they are using to over-advantage. Young minds thus ingest habits of subconscious selection and substitution of data, which leads to hysterical conversive economy of reasoning. They grow up to be somewhat hysterical adults who, by means of the ways adduced above, thereupon transmit their hysteria to the next generation, which then develops these characteristics to an even greater degree. The hysterical patterns for experience and behavior grow and spread downwards from the privileged classes until crossing the boundary of the first criterion of ponerology: the atrophy of natural critical faculties with respect to pathological individuals.

When the habits of subconscious selection and substitution of thought-data spread to the macrosocial level, a society tends to develop contempt for factual criticism and to humiliate anyone sounding an alarm. Contempt is also shown for other nations which have maintained normal thought-patterns and for their opinions. Egotistic thought-terrorization is accomplished by the society itself and its processes of conversive thinking. This obviates the need for censorship of the press, theater, or broadcasting, as a pathologically hypersensitive censor lives within the citizens themselves.

This is exactly the kind of behaviour that I have observed, even from ones who supposedly are a part of the intelligentsia of Malaysia. This is not a good sign. There is no need for overt censorship if the citizens are perfectly capable of censoring themselves.

Think about that for a moment.

What is knowledge and understanding anyway?

The best cure, or immunization, against this kind of pathological process is knowledge and understanding. If you know about what is being done to you, and understand how it fits into the bigger context, it will have much less effect.

The purpose of this post is to get you, the concerned reader, to realize how what is being taught through the Malaysian education system is to a large extent irrelevant. However, instead of pointing out the uselessness of rote learning and memorizing facts, I will instead violate the rule I set out for myself in the first post – to not offer any alternatives or suggestions – and instead suggest what would be useful to learn in school, and roughly the process for doing so. Hopefully by seeing that, and comparing with what is there now, it will become apparent just how wrong the current approach is.

The first step is to understand the process of learning, from perception all the way up to application. This process starts with data, the raw perception of the world around us.

This can be collected and organized by individuals familiar with a particular field, and then transformed into what we could call information. You know, like books and Internet websites. Once information about a topic is available in a comprehensible format for someone not intimately familiar with it, other people can read and listen to this information.

When information is perceived and processed by an individual, who can connect it to previous information and fit it into his or her mental mosaic of how the world works, it can turn into knowledge. I say “can”, because if the receptor, the person trying to acquire said information, is flawed in the sense that their previous knowledge and beliefs are imperfect or flat out wrong, it is entirely possible that the new information is distorted and instead creates lies and beliefs that are not true, objectively speaking. This is why it is essential that anyone wishing to truly understand the world around them should first critically assess their current beliefs, and if they are rational or not. If they do not do so, it is highly likely that any new information pouring into this muddled glass will just add to the volume of nonsense, without any true benefit. Scientists, I’m looking at you!

Once knowledge has been created in an individual, and let’s for the moment assume that it is correct for the sake of argument, the next step is to transform this knowledge into understanding. The purpose here is to be able to relate the new knowledge with as many other pieces of knowledge as possible, connecting the dots if you will, and be able to apply said knowledge in as many different contexts and situations as possible, to see where it applies, and where it does not apply. This step makes the knowledge actionable, as in, you can actually do something with it, without causing harm to yourself and others. It becomes, in short, useful. Any attempt to apply knowledge without understanding, or even worse, apply wrong knowledge without understanding that it is so, is highly likely to cause harm in various ways.

The next, and final, step in this process is mastery. I’m not even going to attempt to explain this, as it’s a massive topic on its own.

The point here, for the purpose of understanding any education system, is that if you do not get to at least the level of understanding, the knowledge that you have is rarely useful, and any attempt to apply it will most likely fail and/or cause harm. The question is, where is the focus of the Malaysian education system? Is it on data, information, knowledge or understanding?

Think about it for a moment.

What should we learn?

Education is not something that we do just because “it is a good idea”. There are many “good ideas”, but not all of them are worth investing time and money in. So, if we then take the approach that “getting an education” is in fact an investment, what should one learn?

As with any investment, you would have to do a risk/benefit analysis. In particular, you will want to ask yourself the question: what knowledge will I have the most use of in my life, and how can I minimize the risk of investing time and energy in something that will turn out to be useless?

In answering this question I am going to suggest that things that can be learned can be roughly divided into three different types: languages, skills, and subjects.

Languages are those things that we use to communicate about other things, including itself. Languages, if seen in isolation, are pretty much useless. It is only when we apply a language to something, such as talking about education, that it gains value. But because languages can be applied to such a vast amount of subjects, they are of enormous value. They are as generally applicable as possible. Another good attribute of languages is that they are relatively few. In Malaysia they are basically Malay, English, Mandarin, Tamil, and math.

Yes, math. You didn’t know that math was a language? Well, it is! Like any language, on its own it has very little value apart from purely academic and intellectual discussions, but when you apply it to talk about other things, it has immense value. Going shopping? Math. Building a house? Math. Figuring out what the bill at the restaurant is going to be after service tax? Math. Deducing the logical conclusion of an argument? Math. Math is all around us, and it is the language the universe uses to talk to us. As such, learning the language of math is perhaps one of the most powerful tools you can have in your toolbox.

And, correspondingly, not understanding math is a great weakness, and will ensure that you will be taken advantage of one way or the other in life. The consequences of not being able to realize that a particular MLM or similar scam mathematically is risky is something that Malaysians face every day. Much of my time is spent explaining the folly of various such schemes to friends and family. I would rather not have to do that.

The second level of things to learn are skills. Skills are things that also are relatively useless on their own. Critical thinking without something to think about critically is, well, useless. It is only when we apply skills to something else that they gain value. But as with languages, since they can be applied to such a vast amount of subjects, they have enormous value. Like languages they are also, relatively speaking, few. Let’s say they are in the thousands. That’s few, and among those there is a basic set of about ten that will get you very very far. Critical thinking, creative thinking, mind mapping, public speaking, and so on, are skills that I use on an almost daily basis, no matter what problems I need to solve. No matter what your job is, having ten such general skills will VASTLY improve your quality of life.

The third level of things to learn are actual subjects. Things like history, science, sociology, playing the drums and cooking. We apply languages and skills when learning these, and so understanding the languages and skills needed for a particular subject is invaluable. Priceless even. On the flip side, not knowing the language of the subject you are studying, makes it highly confusing and close to pointless. There is one example of this in the current Malaysian education system, as it turns out. Do you know which one?

The problem with subjects is that there is essentially no limit to how many there are of them. There’s millions of potential subjects, billions even. So from an investment point of view, where you want to get the most bang for your proverbial buck, investing in a particular subject is a MASSIVE risk. Most likely the last time you will read about a specific subject, or have a need for it, is in school. Once you are out in the real world, where grownups go about their business getting things done, what you will actually need are mainly languages and skills, and any subjects required to be a productive member of society you will have to learn on your own after you left school.

The question now becomes: what is the Malaysian education system focusing on? Is it languages, skills, or subjects? And when it teaches languages, such as math, does it focus on the importance of being able to apply it to other subjects? And when it teaches subjects, does it involve applying skills or not?

Think about it for a moment.

That which has true and lasting value is left out. Pretty crazy, huh?

So how should we learn things?

Because of this immense risk of not learning the subjects you need to get a job while in school, it is really important to know how to learn new things. The process of learning. If you have this, then whatever is thrown at you, you can say “I don’t know, but give me a minute and I’ll figure it out”. If you are a pure-bred product of any established education system, your answer would instead be: “I don’t know. Please instruct me”. These people you want to stay away from, because they’ll never get anything done, and will need hand-holding all the way. If they do manage to get something done, it’s not done properly as they have no method for assessing the quality of the outcome.

So how does learning work? How do you acquire new skills? There are two models I know of which are pretty good at explaining this, and they are basically variations of each other. One is called Shu-Ha-Ri, and comes from the field of martial arts. Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

It is known that, when we learn or train in something, we pass through the stages of shu, ha, and ri. These stages are explained as follows. In shu, we repeat the forms and discipline ourselves so that our bodies absorb the forms that our forebearers created. We remain faithful to the forms with no deviation. Next, in the stage of ha, once we have disciplined ourselves to acquire the forms and movements, we make innovations. In this process the forms may be broken and discarded. Finally, in ri, we completely depart from the forms, open the door to creative technique, and arrive in a place where we act in accordance with what our heart/mind desires, unhindered while not overstepping laws.

In my experience from practising traditional Japanese martial arts, this progression of learning and understanding is extremely useful, and can be applied outside the field of martial arts.

During the shu phase we learn about the basics and facts on a specific topic. If we are studying, for example, the skill Six Thinking Hats, we learn about the skill itself, the method it proposes, and roughly what it is for. Then we apply it to some set of pre-defined examples, which are ordered to be progressively more complicated and sophisticated, for the purpose of learning the method itself. We do not invent more steps, that is, we do not try to apply creative thinking to the process itself, but only as a part of executing the process. This is the shu phase, where we acquire the knowledge about something.

After having done this, so that we are familiar with the skill and how to apply it to pre-defined and self-contained problems, we then proceed to apply this skill in a more natural environment, where problems to be solved arise naturally, and where we get to test our understanding of the skill. We have to define the problem ourselves, what the constraints are, how to apply the skill, and we also get to assess the validity of the result. We may even start to modify the process, all the while keeping in line with the original constraints of the method. This is the ha phase of learning, where understanding is achieved.

When this has been done for a long, long time, and we know by heart how to apply this skill in various conditions and contexts, to a large variety of problems, then we can attempt the ri phase, wherein we can choose whether to follow the process, or invent a completely new one that solves the same problem in an entirely different way.This is the ri phase, where mastery is the end goal.

We have mastered the technique, and can apply it fluently and with ease, no matter what life throws at us.

Now consider the Malaysian education system: what level does it focus on (shu, ha, or ri), and how often is it that you get the opportunity to get to the ri stage in understanding a skill, in a guided fashion?

Think about it for a moment.

That last part of the question has an easy answer: zero. In the olden days, when we had master-apprentice teaching, at least a few would reach the level of master under the guidance of a willing master, so as to continue a tradition or trade. Today, when we focus on the average, we are destined for mediocrity. The end result of this is that our society becomes an idiocracy, the rule of the ignorant. Generation after generation, less and less understanding remains, and society gets more and more atrophied, leading to a downwards spiral to eventual destruction.

What does it all mean?

As I hope is clear by now, the outcome of the current Malaysian education system has very little value. A grading system that involves systemic cheating by all involved, a mental and emotional environment that promotes mental unhealth, and a focus on learning things that have little value, all contribute to the wet dream of evil industrial globalists, those who wish to use Malaysia as an outsourcing country for the purpose of easy access to uneducated, easily controllable workers, who believe that the manager-worker system created by Frederick Winslow Taylor, focusing on standard specifications, targets and inspections, is the right way to go. It is in the interest of globalists that Malaysians are educated enough to be controllable, but it is not in their interest that you take charge of your own destiny with knowledge and understanding.

There is of course other, even more troubling, consequences of this madness. This is not the first time in history that a society has seen large amounts of angry, uneducated and unemployed youth. As one typical example, in Nazi Germany this was taken advantage of by shrewd political forces that directed this anger towards a part of the population, claiming that they were “running all businesses, banks, money flows, and dealing between themselves”. Ignorance is the food of fear, which eventually leads to hate. It would be a shame to see history repeat itself.

Unfortunately, there are two things that can be said about history:

  • Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it
  • The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history

Will this be true again? Or can Malaysia be immunized with knowledge and understanding to avoid this from repeating?

We shall soon find out.

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17 Responses to Why the Malaysian education system doesn’t work, part 3 of 3: Knowledge and Understanding

  1. dkwts says:

    Malaysia has used and misused its schools and colleges as idealogical nests for indoctrinating one-party nationalism, monoethnic supremacy and neo-feudalism. It is unfair to single out Malaysia. Many newly created countries did the same at their time creation. Some like New Zealand and Indonesia have accepted the mistakes of their colonial and post colonial history and have moved on.
    Others including famous failing states like Pakistan and Mugabe’s Zimbabwe have “overtaken” Malaysia in the race to the bottom.

    Rickard’s message is an eleventh hour wake up call for action. Malaysian prime ministers, teachers and anyone with school going children in this country is totally free to ignore it at his peril.

  2. zefi says:

    “It is unfair to single out Malaysia.”

    First comment, and I see this. Speechless.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It does pain me to see such faults in a system so deeply rooted in our lives that it seems like nothing can be done. You can even say that we’ve grown accustomed to these ‘standard procedures’; get in there, cram in facts you probably won’t use in the near future, remembering it long enough to write it onto a piece of paper, get an A, get a job. It feels so repetitive to the point where it almost seemed like an elaborate plot by some shady faction to do us all in.

    For all our technological superiority, we may perhaps never attain the knowledge and wisdom in which we were given the ability to. Sometimes, the blame cannot to placed on the system itself, for if one takes a good look at it all, one would see that all things, even this ‘low-yield system’ that binds us so till today, came from the people. Forget not that the foundations of our society itself is fragile, that all it takes to change it all is the will of one person. We’ve seen this before; Genghis Khan’s invasion from Asia to Europe (if memory serves), the Holocaust, the Cuban Missile Crisis, 9/11; these are obvious testaments as to how one man can change the course of history if he truly wishes so. Forget not that without this downward spiral of a system reeling in the lot, chaos will, undoubtedly, reign supreme.

    My stand is this; The Malaysian education system does NOT work because we, the people, are too accustomed to the normal, sedentary lifestyle, what with our ‘never mind-lah’ and ‘anything goes’ attitude. I previously read a compilation of Patrick Teoh’s articles, a book titled Teohlogy (who was kind enough to state that it wasn’t a book on religious studies) “We see problems, we go to kopitiams, sip our kopi O’s, ‘tokkok’ and complain, then resume our daily lives,” or something like that. We ourselves, do not, or rather, DARE NOT bring about the change we so long for. We merely complain about problems, whilst productive, true first-class citizens work hand-in-hand along with their governments in solving their problems and, after a hard day’s work, kick back, relax, and watch how we Malaysian had to hold a mass procession (Bersih) to actually get the government to start doing their jobs. Which they were bound to do in the first place.

    You see what I’m trying to say here, friend? We ourselves dare not bring that change. We did not do something when we knew this thing was going to screw us all over for God knows how long. We did nothing. And with that inaction alone, we played a part in it all.

    Sure missed the good ol’ days. Where we learned for the sake of learning.

    Though the syllabus could use a change. A complete overhaul would be fitting for the teachers’ training course too.

    Good post, by the way. Nice to see someone who has the heart.

  4. pywong says:

    Thank Rickard. You have confirmed what I have maintained all along. The SYSTEM has to crash before we can break free.


  5. Jahamy says:

    I am glad to note another blog that delves in these things that I have been thinking about for years. Thanks! 🙂 I have liked you to my blog at http://jahaberdeen.blogspot.com.

  6. cikgu says:

    Although i am a teacher, part of the system being condemned…i share your sentiments…there’s a lot of stuff up there to react to..but in short, yes..i wish the system would be replace..the seasonal overhauls don’t work anymore…

  7. missreverie says:

    Thank you Rickard for taking the time to illustrate all these insightful points with regards to how education is currently being run here and how we can seek to self-educate ourselves or rather de-teach ourselves from the nonsense that have been put through our heads within these institutions.

    It’s funny that the stuff that really stuck to my mind and added to my life experience weren’t exactly the little facts that we’d been told to cram for exams, but of a few characters/people of the system who managed to stand apart and did more to change it up in their little ways.

    Your piece on how evil systems were truly a gem. Thank you again, Rickard.

  8. Brandon Chew says:

    It better
    For the sake of the new generation to come -.-

  9. Dania says:

    I only recently found this post thanks to google-ing “i hate malaysia’s education system” and i can say that everything stated in this article is so painfully true. I’m a 14 year old Malay girl who is only one out of millions to have the misfortune of being under this satanic system. I really do mean satanic because it drives me insane. I have been to two secondary schools now, and last year i was in a so called top notch boarding school in the country. Now, i am currently studying in a public dayschool, and i honestly find both schools horrible for so many reasons. All i can say is that i have always hated school since primary school. I have constantly been bullied by both classmates and teachers for being “different” or outspoken. I have ADHD and tend to get in trouble with the school rules a lot, with people often calling me “undisciplined” and “rebellious”. Although all my teachers agree that I am doing well academically, they often tend to complain to my parents about my lack of social skills. Frankly, the main reason why I find it hard to get along with my peers is because I find them so immature and ignorant. But it honestly isn’t their fault considering the fact that 14 year olds nowadays are constantly being brainwashed. I don’t see the point of all this. The education system makes me so frustrated that I have even contemplated suicide multiple times. Thinking about the system literally makes me cry, because no student deserves to be treated like this. Our futures are constantly being jeopardized and our minds are constantly being brainwashed to “follow the system.” I have begged my parents to homeschool me multiple times, but to no avail. We are being treated like drones, and never allowed to have a sense of indiviuality. I am shocked that even in our Pendidikan Sivik textbooks, it says that “sikap individualistik” lies as one of the traits which are discouraged. The students never think using minds of their own, and what annoys me the most is that most teachers don’t even have the basics of general knowledge. They are taught to teach in a certain way, and the students are taught to “learn” a certain way, making everyone a stereotype. The only reason why I am doing well academically is because I find it as a responsibility, but apart from that I have honestly lost all motivation with the education system and what it’s doing to our minds. I am not active in sports, merely because I am not interested and also not physically able to perform certain activities due to my scoliosis, and I find it pathetic that doing these “sports” actually contribute to my grades. I do take interest in things such as psychology, reading and writing, and also drawing (both digitally and traditionally) and I find it sad that Malaysian schools hardly ever present activities or associations and such to encourage other forms of nurturing talents other than sports. Kids my age are lacking so much on creativity and originality, I honestly cannot imagine what the country’s industries will end up like in 10 years to come. I honestly don’t see the point of school if it makes us so depressed, and I’m sure that more than 50% of the kids my age feel the same way. In school we learn history, and the importance of not repeating the past, but what we’re actually doing is just replaying the same scenes over and over again, only under a different mask. Oh, the irony. The fact that 14 year old Malaysian students learn the Pythagorean Theorem in school while being completely oblivious of simple things like the Middle Eastern Crisis really does say something about our system.

    • Rickard says:

      Thank you Dania for such a thoughtful comment. I agree that the current system is creating drones, incapable of independent thought and action, and while this may seem “tempting” for the powers that be in the short run, the long term consequences are, as you note, depressing. Most students still able to think, in spite of what they like you have gone through, need to find other avenues for learning about life, in all its many aspects. School is too broken to be able to provide it any longer, and with everything changing as fast as it does, every year it becomes just more outdated and wrong.

      I hope within the few blog posts here on the subject you can find a few starting points. Learning to think is crucial, and you seem to already have the basics down. Learning to tell bullshit from truth is another important skill, which you for sure will not get in school. The history lessons you get in school are a good place to practice your BS meter actually, because most of it is indeed bullshit (no disrepect to bulls, btw). Psychology is another one which will help you understand why all this nonsense is allowed to go on (Kinokuniya has a great psychology section). The last year my son went to St Johns he basically treated it as a study of how insanity asylums work, and how the inmates and guards interact. If there was no learning through normal means, well, at least he got something out of it that way.

      I really hope you find some other way of finding meaning and purpose, since school clearly isn’t able to.

      Best wishes, Rickard

      ps. If your teacher hasn’t taught you this already, I REALLY recommend looking into the proofs of Pythagoras Theorem: http://www.cut-the-knot.org/pythagoras/ Nr 3 is my absolute favourite! Math is awesome, it’s just that teachers tend to make it insanely boring.

    • Dylan says:

      Hello Dania,

      What a powerful and heartfelt comment. I don’t know you, but nonetheless I feel connected in a way. I always had the same feeling as you, and still do. I recently joined a Company in Malaysia for an Internship and am originally from the Netherlands, believe me that it isn’t that much better there. For the same reasons I dropped out and decided to stay here longer and to self-educate, travel and experience.

      Although dropping out isn’t much an option for you yet due to your age, you really could do great with self-educating yourself, read a lot of books, go to good seminars like TEDx, Incitement, etc. Talk to professionals in the field that you’re interested in (you’ll find that people are really happy to help you if you show interest in their field), etc.

      Share your findings, share your opinions on subjects you enjoy, create your own space, your own way of learning and rebel. There is nothing wrong about being a rebel, actually.. it’s great.. to think for your own and not just follow like people tell you to do. Not just following the system but to truly think through what is important for you.

      Hope you’ll find something to put your full interest in and to create something that works for you.

    • Victim says:

      Hi Dania,
      I was in same situation as you 20 years ago. Disagreement on cloned education resulted me from being marginated by teachers and classmates. Categorized as ‘lazy bug’ by others, even my parent labeled me as being lazy. I got beaten, marginalized, and criticized for not following the mind cloning instructions.
      I gave up half way, it made me what I am today. I am official the victim of this insane mind cloning education system.
      Dania, follow your faith; we need more people like you in Malaysia to make it a better nation.

  10. roaccchz says:

    Hi Rickard,

    I have not read all your articles yet, not even this one properly but i want to share some observations into the future of Malaysian education from my point of view. I currently do not live in Malaysia but still very well connected to my many friends back home. What i will write here is based on observations on my own friends.

    As of now, my friends are mostly married with kids ranging from 2 to 7 years old. The kid of my well-to-do Malay friend had been sent to a fancier “English only” daycare where it was promised that these kids would speak English well right before entering preschool. The kid came home speaking horrible “pasar English” in Chinese sing-song pronunciation despite the fees (she will find another daycare very soon!). My lower middle class Malay friends send their kids to either a Malay only daycare/preschool where kids have no exposure to diversity (the Chinese do not send their kids there, another problem) and English. Some friends send their kids to religious preschools where they learn how to sing the nasyid, be introduced to religious text, and the parents got angry when the preschool decided to organize a dance where boys and girls would dance on a stage together. Parents are too paranoid of their kids coming into contact with non-halal food. Neighbourhoods are also increasingly segregated by racial groups. Some of my Chinese friends send their kids to daycare/preschools with Chinese kids where they too learn to speak horrible English because “teachers” do not know what they’re doing to these poor kids.

    What i can see from here is that in ten years, we will have a society more fragmented than the current generation, do not understand and do not know how to appreciate diversity. The deteriorating command of the English language aside (and no exposure to BM from young for those who prefer to send their kids to Chinese majority preschools), i fear this fragmentation of our society from such a young and innocent age much, much more. When i was growing up in the 80s and 90s, i was not exposed to such polarization and only had to face this after entering university. I feel sad for these kids just because their parents (and the teaching staff) are under-exposed and too narrow-minded to think of the bigger consequences of their actions. Or maybe more “muhibbah” facilities do not exist except in richer neighbourhoods where parents are more liberal (liberal could be a no-no as well in Pendidikan Sivik!).

    Tun Mahathir recently voiced out his worry that the Muslims are too busy chasing after spiritual merit and not enough on reinforcing education, which i could see in many of my friends themselves and what they consequently impose on their children…. Too much “akhirat” and not enough “duniawi”.

    That’s all for now 🙂

    • Rickard says:

      Hi, and thanks for your thoughts. I will only add that I have made pretty much the same observations, and it is very sad and worrying for the future. There doesn’t seem to be any solution on the horizon, and every year it gets worse, not better. Depressing, but it is what it is.

  11. ernest says:

    after reading Dania’s comment, i feel not so alone, at least someone share the same sentiments with me. i had always hated n loathed assembly, it’s like some kind of prison camp, where everyone is quite and “discipline”, fearing of being called up to the stage by the discipline teachers, who will order you to stand there as punishment. I always told myself that it was more like a funeral, the atmosphere is hostile n solemn. They will have the prefects to stand around the hall, acting as spies to “catch” those who doze off during the principals speech. Indeed, many students were caught red handedly for talking with their buddies, dozing off or reading novels. They were then sent to the discipline room for so called, further disciplinary action. My opinion: do you even need to go to such an extend of punishing students ??!!

    I study in a so called top notch Chinese secondary school in Penang, big majority of the Chinese families would send their children to chinese secondary schools here, but there’s still a big number that are not in chinese secondary schools. Chinese secondary sch’s are much much more narrow-minded, conventional, biased, and very rigid than the non-chinese secondary schools. They are hidebound. The school use to require all students and teachers to arrive 10 minutes earlier than the actual time. The school starts at 7:30am, and I have to arrive there by 7:20. To my surprise, the assembly sometimes will start at 7:15am. In my school, there’s not exact located day for assembly. They will have assembly whenever they want, as the principal wishes. This is tradition. One hell of a tradition. I do know the importance of being punctual, but those students who don’t arrive at 7:15 for the assembly will be punished, is this even fair?

    It is all about root learning. The chinese language syllabus has that every student is required to memorise chinese idiom. 40 idiom each form, from form 1 to form 5, accumulating 200 idioms to be tested in SPM. Not only the meaning of the idiom but also the origin of the idiom are to be test as well. In my recent school exam, i wrote the meaning of the idiom according to my own understanding, as i can’t manage to memorise all of the 120 idioms. In my past test, my chinese language teacher marked me wrong as my answer wasn’t the same with her marking scheme neither was it the same with the textbook. She also punished me unreasonably for not studying, and ordered me to hand write the 120 idioms during my school holidays. It’s not that I didn’t study, it’s just that I did it my own way. Creativity and imagination is often discouraged and often perceived as being too smart. Except for my English language teacher who motivate us to think out of the box. The students never think using minds of their own, and what annoys me the most is that most teachers don’t even have the basics of general knowledge. Teachers also have a big sense of ego.
    I usually stand out side of the class if i were to point out my teacher’s mistakes…poor me
    Students are not taught new and different things. Something that will broaden and widen my horizon. Many schools practice this lousy system. Subjects have different weight in the exam. In my school, Chinese language has the highest weigh. Behind it is BM & English. Maths and Science brings much less weigh than these 3 subjects. I personally feel that this is wrong. All subjects should be equally advocated. With the unbalanced weigh for different subject, students will be even more exam orientated, and just study those subjects that are much important and neglect those of less weigh. Another thing that bugs me is the discipline in my school. The discipline teacher somehow loves to inspire fear to us. No one dares to rebel and stand up for a cause. Evn when they are abused! Canning is indeed normal. Even talking in the classroom without any lessons going on/teacher’s presence will also result the students in my school to get canned. Some students come out of the discipline room unaware of the reason they’re being canned. Crazy, crazy, gaga rules are implemented. We have a rule that says, students can’t buy food/beverages or even to refill drinking water from the refilling station strictly and except recess time only. It was after the annual inter class basketball tournament, we all need something to quench our thrust, my friends who had ran out of water went to the refilling station to refill some water. The senior assistant(2nd 2 d principal) walked by n caught them. Needless to say,they were canned. Schools lack of equality and discrimination even happen in single race school. School work is extremely too much, they come in bus loads, and teachers won;t praise you for good job in completing it, but if u did something wrong, they perceived wrong, you get insults like, “are you animal or what” “hopeless bum” bla bla bla, i love doing and making variations and adding my own ideas to make it more colourful, but i was always snubbed and shut down. We are all “brainwashed” and expected to be the same, form head to toe, to act like drones. It’s like a golden age of something awful n wicked.
    I was being appointed as class monitor this year, sad beautifully tragic. I will be penalised if something gone wrong. It’s driving me nuts.I would love to quite but can’t, as once your appointed, you can’t resign. i sometimes feel like transferring to another school. The whole concept of student with rank should be abolished. This will only result to bullying, discrimination, envy, and all unnecessary trouble. The worst thing is when, your a monitor and teachers expect you to be perfect, and academically good. I’m weak in chinese language, and the teacher will remark that i should be good in it as i’m the monitor, and a chinese, this is a disgrace to yourself, you should be a role model to others. This made me feel bad. I wanted to give up chinese, by persuading my parents to transfer me to another school which is not a chinese medium school numerous times, but with no avail. to bad,, ekk.. students can’t just join a spots club they want, usually like tennis club, swimming club. you are permitted to if you have past records of representing the school in certain eventful competitions. Hence, i picked up tennis by my own outside of school. I take interest in public speaking, reading n creative writing, i love reading reader digest, economics and trade, n accounting, but unfortunately, the school doesn’t equip us with knowledge of these calibre, what they do is spoon feeding, teacher talks you listen, and giving us answers. They make d class boring n unappealing. i am also the batch that is going through the PBS system. The knowledge that i am being provided is limited. Going to school now and then is different to me, i take it as a recreational activity.

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