Oh no! Not the exam system again.

The Harian Metro and a few other papers the other day reported that a boy in Johore went missing for a few hours after the UPSR results was announced. Apparently he ran away when his name was not announced among the candidates who obtained 5As. He actually  obtained 5As but somehow his name and a few others were missed when the announcement was made.

He was found two hours later and one km away hiding and crying. Umm.. boys do cry these days! He was reported to say that he was so disappointed for not able to to get 5A and so ashamed of himself for disappointing his parents. And he is only 12. There was a picture of him wearing a yellow sash across his body carrying the bold red label – 5A. Schools do that these days to celebrate winners. I am not too sure about the feeling of those who missed and the effort and the money the school had to spend to prepare for the event.

The incident implied the kind of pressure that we put to our children to do well in exam. My God what have we done? For God’s sake it is only UPSR! Do we have to crown the 5A scorers like they are beauty queens? In my days, I did not even know about the results of my Peperiksaan Penilaian Darjah 5 (it was called that those days) until the teacher came and informed me that i got 4A. It did not even register to me the significance of that result. Maybe we should do away with the ceremony of schools announcing the results in assembly halls and calling all who got 5As to the stage to collect their results. Some states still proudly announced which school is top for the state.  Not so many years ago the national result was announced by no less than the Minister himself.

Mind you instead we should be very disappointed if our children do not perform the solat regularly and drum into their minds that they are hugely disappointing their parents if they do not do so.

Are we blaming our education system for this scenario? The system is a convenient scapegoat. All of us must look at all these holistically. The ongoing town hall meetings on the Education Blueprint is a good avenue to air our grievances about “the system”.  Do we have the statistics that co-relate the UPSR results with SPM? or with success?. Well that would depend on what we meant by success. Oh boy, when are going to finish discussing this….

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