The government recently announced a comprehensive review of the education system and I believe consultants have been appointed to gather information and formulate a new system of education that would propel our children into the future.
Personally I am quite happy with the current system. It is just the implementation that needs major tweakings. Take for example, the so called exam oriented system. I believe the Ministry never purposely put examination above everything else. If you look at our curriculum, we set curriculum standards and learning standards to be achieved. We never put it down that those who achieved a certain level of learning standards should be graded with an A+, A-, B, C, etc. But as we go along, the pressure shifted from lifelong wholesome learning to completing the syllabi and drilling for examination. I too believe this is due to the pressure to persue further education in higher learning institutions with the fervent wish of getting lucrative jobs. Despite the vocational skills channel is never closed, not many non academically inclined students opt for the skills based courses in vacational schools. Of course this was further aggravated by the arbitrary action of the ministry in the late 90s in converting all the vocational schools to technical schools. Even then, the vocational skills courses were still available in many technical schools. I am glad that the ministry realised its folly and had recently reverted back the vacational instituton to its original path.
When Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abd Razak wrote in NST last Sunday about getting the underlying philosophy of education on sound footing, I got this nasty feeling that he is under the impression that education in this country is being done wily nilly. Probably he has forgotten about the national educational policy that was formulated back in the 80s. I am sure you have seen this finely crafted prose on the walls of schools throughout the country as well as on the back pages of schools’ exercise books.
Unfortunately, the ubiquity of this piece of pompous sounding words did not guarantee its internalisation. The nobility of the intention of the philosophy is unquestionable but its implementation fell way short, very short indeed.