Is There Anything Wrong With Our Malaysian Schools?
Is There Anything Wrong With Our Malaysian Schools?
That is if we assume that something is wrong with the Malaysian education system to begin with. As a proof, many people claim that there are so many tuition centres operating in the country. Without a doubt, the growing tuition industry is a clear pointer to the deficiency that is currently there in the public schools and this has driven many students to seek for supplementary lessons elsewhere. It is a valid argument especially because fundamental economic laws state that supply can only grow in proportion to the prevailing demand. For this reason, the growth of tuition industry is a clear indicator of the specific demand for supplementary school coaching and this demand can be said to be healthy.
#1 Poor learning in our schools
A great percentage of tuition proponents will honestly agree that our current education system has some serious deficiencies that need to be addressed. For the most part, most of these people feel that our schools no longer operating as suitable programmes of learning helpful to our young people. Instead, schools have been transformed into commercial-like institutions and are no longer fulfilling the purpose of their existence. Teachers are becoming more like office employees whose work is to push papers and attend to administrative work as opposed to attending to the classroom needs of their students. Each teacher has to contend with a syllabus that needs to be covered, yet this has to be done within a set time. To do this, the syllabus has to be split up into lessons that will properly fit into the tight academic year.
With this kind of a situation, there is nothing much room available for issues that might interrupt the tightly planned learning programme. Important considerations including whether those being taught understand the lessons, the speed of students who are slow learners, the necessity for lesson repetition or reinforcement among others have very little allowances in the implementation of the annual academic calendar. This is because a great percentage of the teachers could hardly complete the set syllabus. Teachers are always under pressure to complete the syllabus and are likely to work towards this goal without carrying whether the results are appealing.
#2 Tuition as the answer
These feelings are shared by a big number of students who consider tuition as a great option. There is a growing anxiety among the school children to catch up with their school programmes because their schools are only concentration on how they can complete the syllabus on time. This is done with no regard of whether the learners are capable of handling the normal syllabus. The teachers move in a hurry to cover more topics within the shortest time possible and this leaves the students hanging without any clue of what is happening. At the end of the syllabus, the students seem as though they have acquired some understanding but in the real sense what they have is a shallow knowledge towards the subject. This situation has led many students to look for extra lessons in a bid to catch up. They joint tuition centres to gain a greater understanding of their school work and in some cases just to finish their school work.
#3 Class size and time
This does not mean that teachers in our public schools do not take time to explain the homework they assign to their students. However, the teachers only concentrate on common mistakes or only focus on an issue if their students seek for help to solve a problem. In general, students hand over the homework to the teachers who just correct it and hand it back to them. it is not possible for teachers to spend a lot of time on these features since they have to race against time and complete the lessons assigned for that particular day. The problem is not caused fully by the time limit factor only but class size is also a major contributor. Teachers are forced to give priority to the problems that are common with the majority of the students in their class and therefore have no much time to give to those aired by the minority. Individual attention to the students is therefore not possible even if teachers were willing to offer it.
#4 Teachers have set priorities
There are claims also to the effect that teachers lack sufficient motivation to provide solutions for the genuine needs of their students. They prioritize towards complete of the national syllabus with the sole aim of avoiding blame for failing to do their work fully. Teachers are therefore in a dilemma and it is not hard to empathize with them. a good number of teachers working in our schools have chosen the teaching career with selfless intents at heart. However, when they have to contend with the availability of inadequate resources, they also flow with the system silently since there is nothing much they can do to change the situation. What are the main causes of this detrimental situation in our public schools, causing many to regard private tuition as the truer replacement for school learning? At least it is reassuring to know that the current state in an unavoidable development of any schooling structure.
Over the past years, learning and schooling were used synonymously. Those who were going to school were supposed to learn and develop into useful and reliable members of the society. In fact, those who went to school in any society were looked upon with a lot of respect and were considered to be carriers of solutions bedevilling the communities from where they came from. Today, all people have an equal opportunity to attend school and receive equal opportunities to learn. This is especially true in developed countries. The Government of Malaysia has introduced and provided free education for all and has been seeking to accommodate a big number of students from all across the country. As a result, almost all Malaysian children who have attained the school-going age have enrolled in primary schools or secondary schools regardless of whether they are rich or poor.
#5 In the interest of efficiency
Nonetheless, as a growing number of students is enrolled in our schools, the core purpose of schooling looks as if it has changed. The school is more concerned a great deal with individual students when the enrolment is small but with the increase in enrolment, schools become institutions that are more concerned with numbers and not personalized attention. To create efficiency, students are distinguished based on their academic achievements and in the process they lose their personality. Subsequently, a particular curriculum is introduced to increase teaching uniformity and efficiency even more. Rules, schedules and regulations become necessary as well. To put it differently, the management of the school becomes more concerned with the introduction of an efficient arrangement. It is due to the concern for the country that a well controlled schooling system has been put in place to produce a large number of educated members of the society. Unfortunately, learning has ceased from being one and the same with schooling during this process.
For this reason, it is very clear why many of our students are equating learning to private tuition, as opposed to the schooling process. It is not yet clear how competent the private tuition industry is in maintaining their reputation as the same woes begin to afflict them. However, even as we scrutinize the tuition centres and their effectiveness, there is no doubt that this arrangement has an important role to play in the Malaysia education system as of now and especially in redeeming the lost glory that was once associated with it.
The tuition industry has over the years been able to help our young people to understand their school lessons in a better way and this as a result has been reflected in their performances during exams. However, we cannot just sit back and assume that the presence of tuition programs should become a replacement for our schools as this will mean that we do not need the schools at the end of the day. The management of these tuition centres will need to be under close monitoring to keep it from the same maladies that have affected the public schooling system. Otherwise, as their enrolment increases, most of them are falling for the same problems than many parents and students have been trying to run away from. Some are enrolling high number of students per class and in most cases these have even outgrown their school counterparts. As many parents look at tuition centres as their only real hope for their children’s education, much needs to be done to avoid the transference of school problems into the industry. If this is not done, then the success of these tuition centres will gradually turn out to be their own undoing.
As many parents come to terms with the growing number of students in tuition centres, many are opting for one-on-one tuition programmes that are seem to be a good solution in offering personalized attention to their children. In addition, international schools are also getting more and more famous recently. However, these are not options that many parents can afford and therefore remains a preserve of the rich and those with the ability to pay for them.
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Also, we have two partner centers in Klang Valley offering home schooling programme. (If you do not know what are the benefits of home school, you may find out more )
- Edenbridge Learning Centre in Jalan Radin Bagus, Sri Petaling
- Eve Academy in Damansara, Petaling Jaya