There are tremendous debates about the effectiveness of Malaysia education over the years. Recently the issue on English proficiency among school students was brought up again. Was it because of our bad education system? What can be done to create a better education system?
1) Be consistent
We always read about changes in the teaching syllabus every now and then. It will be confusing for students to pick up, for teachers to adopt and parents to educate their kids if the syllabus is forever changing. Hence, there should be a consistent programme in place to educate our children.
2) Teach practical subjects
In Malaysia, the education system is too academic focus. This causes problems in producing competent graduates to face this gruesome and depressing challenging working world. Not sure subjects like Health Education, Civics and Citizenship, and Moral Education are of practical use in the working world in the future… hmm…
3) Focus on coursework, not exam
The education in Malaysia gives students the mind-set that education means scoring the test papers, acquiring more knowledge for the exam, and of course, aiming for higher number of As! Will exams help a student to excel in his or her presentation skills, stimulate a more mature thought process, enhance critical thinking or train ones creative problem solving skills? Students will tend to learn faster when they are enjoying the tasks at hand, such as challenging coursework, excursion etc. Exams? May be secondary.
4) Implement interactive teaching style
Malaysian students are so used to spoon-feeding teaching style. It has been part of our Malaysian education culture which has long built its warm nest and is still very much alive and breathing. That is why we turn out to be pampered passive learners. It is important how we design the learning activities in class where students are train to step up and give their own opinions. Critical thinking is essential!
5) Encourage Extra Co-curricular Activities
The schools should encourage students to recognise the value of co-curricular activities as part of their development. Through these activities, students are able to discover their interests and talents while developing values and competencies that will prepare them for a rapidly changing world.
6) Upgrade teacher quality
Teachers play a key role in delivery of quality education to students, including planning, preparing and delivering effective teaching and learning programs for every student, establishing and maintaining a supportive school environment and contributing to the development and implementation of the school objectives and school planning. There should be programmes to acquire good teachers who can inspire students and improve their learning.
7) Emphasise on the importance of Lingua Franca
Think of our children’s future! Regardless if you would to send your children to study overseas or they are going to work in a multi-national company, there is a need to communicate in a common language across the globe – English! We are not saying that we should give up on learning our national language, but we should think from the practicality perspective. Which language should be given more emphasis?