Thinking and Education


Continuous Education

General Intelligence Measure – Are We Up or Down?

The unwritten and painful objective for educational administrators is for them to improve the general intelligence of the population. The stark truth is that our education is falling behind. The officials in the MOE have hoodwinked the Minister of Education and everybody else about the great heat and noise of a transformation plan they had put out.
For those who are in on the secret IQ tests measure intelligence. But going by popular sentiments examinations results is the key tool for measuring the general intelligence or abilities of our children. Accepted wisdom is that if exam results are improving then the level of intelligence is rising and vice versa. This accounts for the considerable excitement and trepidation whenever exam results are coming out.
Recently the Director General of education announced that there has been a decline of the Grade Point Average(GPA) in the SPM exam results from 5.04 to 5.08 but assured us that this is nothing to worry about as the decline is only 0.04 and not 0.05! He had promised to explain. I doubt if any parent or the Minister understood what is so earth-shaking about the 0.01 in GPA drop. Anyway we are still waiting. For the moment, please understand that after four years of toil and effort by 400,000 officials and teachers, the general level of intelligence of our kids are down.
I can’t help but think this because the MoE is not presenting us GPA scores going back a few years which I am sure they have. Is this the indication?
Let me repeat. The education system is not going to improve! All parents in Malaysia should be very afraid. Putting your children in our schools is not healthy for their future!
It may sound alarmist but really the problem is very serious and not likely to be changed much less “transformed”. We need to shout a little bit louder and do some scare mongering to give the MOE  officials and teachers a wake-up kick!
The reason is simple. In any system where performance of the people in charge is not measured, the universal rule is that the bad will always drive out the good. There are slackers, incompetents and irresponsible officials in every organization. Where there is no appropriate action taken to identify, improve or remove these elements the rest of the officials will learn that copying the worse will be in their best interests.
As it is the noble teaching profession has three tiers of blinders to protect itself. Firstly educationists have succeeded in getting everybody to believe that examination results (especially bad ones) is a function of student weakness. Failing students with their parents would hold their heads in shame and trod off to do some self flagellation. Have you heard of anyone coming to bang the table and demand an answer from the teachers why you highly paid professionals do not have the ability to get my son to score 35 marks so that he can pass the damn examination?
Secondly the teachers professional code of conduct will silence anyone who dare criticize a  fellow teacher. The delinquent, incompetent, and lazy teachers can rely on fellow teachers to shield them from any light to shine on them. Conscientious head teachers could not betray their colleagues. So a cloak of silence prevails. Mediocrity and irresponsibility thrive in the dark corridors of the school.
Thirdly the system is so structured that you just cannot assign responsibility to any one teacher. Every student in school would most probably be “handled” by more than 30 teachers by the time he/she gets to UPSR . So who is responsible for the poor results in mathematics or english? The secondary school teacher will point to the primary school. The Form 5 teacher will point to the Form 4 teacher and the Form 4 teacher will point to the Form 3 etc. The most conscientious teachers will go home wondering the extent of his/her responsibility. But for most, “What can I do with all the accumulated gaps in knowledge and skills among the students?” is a rhetorical question left unanswered.
To cap it all, the less than wonderful teachers are further shielded by our high socio-cultural tolerance for looking the other way. I speculate that we are afraid to point out who these people are for fear that it may turn out to be a reflection of ourselves!
It is difficult to fight against the trend. Bad money drives out good. Bad people drive out good people. And so our education system is flushed with seriously under performing teachers (and officials). And that is why we all should be very very afraid.

Filed under: education, GPA, school

You Must Read This

I read this moving message….I am sure Salvador Dali would not object. I reproduce below his thoughts..


Do You Know How Close We Are To Greatness

I am not trying to do any kind of chest thumping for Malaysians … we as a nation of humble beginnings. We went through the British occupation, they left some good stuff but they also took things from us. We went through the Japanese occupation, I still have older relatives who would never ever step foot in Japan. Together we built this nation. For most of us, when you ask us to go home … we have nowhere to go cause this is our home.

Malaysia is a very resource rich country. The country also produces more than its fair share of very capable and intelligent citizens. Many of whom are holding very high positions in MNCs in many developed nations. If all ex Malaysians working in Singapore were to quit, Singapore would really crumble. Plenty more can be found helming very critical positions in HK, Australia, NZ, England and the US… to name but a few.

Even with a deteriorating education system for the past 20 years, most Malaysians can still more than hold their own in foreign universities. I guess, we are naturally smarter than the next guy, and thats the God honest truth. I believe if we have the proper nurturing with outposts such as Silicon Valley, the presence of a highly regarded university system … we would have achieved a lot more than Singapore, South Korea or HK.

But that’s all a big IF.

Why I say we are so close to greatness and not know it. The greatness is not in espousing our intellectual abilities to the full. The greatness is to show the world that a country made up of a few major religions, with multiple races CAN LIVE PEACEABLY TOGETHER and prosper as a nation. That is the greatness that we are so close to.

I know we can do it because WE ALREADY ARE DOING IT IN MANY smaller cities and kampungs. We are already 1Malaysia long before it became a slogan. Somebody tried very hard to separate us by race and religion, and for a very long time, to divide and conquer … but in our hearts we know the divine truth and truth always prevails in the end.

I have had enough, and I hope enough of you have had enough. I need not recount the many cases of major corruption, the decimation of the independence of our judiciary, the blurring of lines between state and the regulating bodies. I hope you have had enough of the deceits, lies, hypocrisy, propaganda …. if things stay the same we are already closer to Zimbabwe in more ways than we care to think of. We can forget trying to catch Taiwan, Singapore, HK, … heck even Thailand and Indonesia seem to drift further away from us.

The greatness is there in us, we have it already, now let’s MAKE IT OFFICIAL. We will be the textbook case for “developing economies”, for “political reforms in developing countries”, “for race relations in politics”. We can show the world it is possible, we know its possible already, many of us know it in our hearts. Greatness is within reach.

Vote for yourself, vote for your family, vote for the youth, your children, nieces and nephews … I love my country to bits, flaws and all, we are not perfect, but together we can be the very greatness that many more developed countries can only aspire to in terms of solidarity, respect for every human kind, dignity for everyone irrespective of race or religion ….

Greatness is within our reach, I can feel it, can you feel it too… We have all studied history when we are younger … now let’s make some new history that you and I will be very proud to be part of, the history of our nation growing up … the template for all developing economies to emulate, the history that really matters.

Filed under: Uncategorized

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