Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Professional Bluff-ologists...

In the near future, student's examination results can be viewed online by their parents. Students who try to falsify their results professionally over the years will no longer be able to put their skills into practice anymore unless they hack the system, which I know there will be teenagers who are good enough to go around the system without any difficulties at all. In order for the results to appear online, someone must key in the data into the school examination analysis system. The person who has to do all this are the teachers - respectable educators who turned into amateur data entry clerks overnite.

Let me share with you the experience of doing so. It's pure nightmare. The system is slower than a dead snail crawling. To hook into the website takes a few minutes. To sign in is superbly marvellous. After keying in the login and password, the page refreshes itself and everything disappears and I have to type and re-type. If the system can't even support at least 500 users online, how is the system going to store all the students' examination marks? Won't it crash after some time? I managed to finish 3 subjects within 3 hours and while doing so, I managed to post up 4 entries in my blog - thus, I killed two virtual birds with 10 fingers pounding on the keyboard. The system is such an ancient tool that it is just ridiculous to key in every mark and waiting for the box to appear and then to update the marks. And are we so backwards that even the whole entire website is in Bahasa Malaysia? I know we're living in Malaysia and I respect our national language, but couldn't it be more formal and let English be used. Instead of the word KEMASKINI, the word UPDATE is so much shorter by a few letters.

Another ridiculous attempt to improve the students' results is to introduce the TOV and ETR system. TOV stands for Targeted Overall Result - that's the average marks taken from the previous year's four exams. Then, there's ETR which stands for Estimated Targeted Result. ETR is based on how much improvement the students are expected to make with the help of the teachers. I do not know how the teachers are going to make some students to improve from 0 marks to 40 marks. That's a big giant leap and NOT everybody has the ability to study. If you haven't realize, there are many modern kids who have learning disabilities. And the educators cum data entry clerk will have to sacrifice all their 24 hours to students and leave their family members high and dry. Don't believe me just see for yourself. Teach in school. Bring back books to mark. Stay back to teach extra classes to push the students until they have no breathing room at all. Go back and do some housework then plan for the next day's lesson and not to forget stare at the computer screen to key in all the marks which took hours and hours and the system is better at around 2 a.m. I did it so I know what I'm talking about. Then, no more time for own children at home.

Why are we forcing the childrent score better and better results? Have you ever put yourself in their shoes and try to figure out what's in their little minds? Some can't even handle simple arithmetic questions. There are some with no language skills. Do you expect all of them to start writing flowery essays when they DON'T CAN'T EVEN READ a toddler's story book? Most of them can read but can't understand even a word. Go back to basic. Teach them how to read before asking them to sit for exams and score the string of A's. Reading is definitely not one of the activities of the modern generation.

I don't see the point in having all this TOV and ETR. Why are we so exam-orientated? Aren't we planning to do away with so many examinations and try to make a change from an exam-orientated education system to something more workable and meaningful for the younger generation? There's no more joy in learning because everything is based on results. There's no fun in teaching as well as the paperwork is monstrous and even a data entry clerk has less work. Teachers are paid to educate children, not to hog on the computer to key in data. That's why there's such a vocation known as data entry clerk. Ever heard of that??? How far can a human be stretched? The education system is forever changing. Education should not be clumped together in politics. When you politicize education, there's no more education but it becomes an agenda where it becomes laughable and open for criticism. The quality of education has been compromised and diluted. The only change that's good is changing the medium of teaching for Science and Mathematics from the national language to the international language. I hope it will stay that way so that we will be able to compete with the world. The topic of brain drain... I guess everyone knows why more and more people are leaving this country.

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