22 August 2010

Malaysian Schools Are Killing Creativity

The purpose of this article is to make us realise that our education system is bringing sad news to the root of innovation, creativity. Our education systems through the schools are murdering creativity. I would use the word ‘systems’ not ‘system’ here because we do have many systems in our education industry due to the rise of many vernacular schools. It is not the problems with vernacularism that existed long time ago, but the weaknesses of the education itself in our country.

Back to the killing of creativity, our schools do not allow us to think creatively. Creativity does not mean you are just good in arts, paintings or photography. It goes beyond that. It transcends the student’s capabilities to think which our educationists and politicians really do want from us. However, they never do such things. Interestingly, students always are the ones being blamed all the time. It is partly true, contributing less than half of the factor that causes our education systems to be in this current condition.

These are the factors that kill our  creativity
Too much focus on exams – the purpose of the education systems in Malaysia is not to produce high-income earners, but to produce straight-As earners
     Too much focus on Mathematics, Sciences then Languages – the hierarchy is always the same in any school; National schools, Chinese schools, Tamil schools even International school
     Fear – I dare to say that our politicians, educationists and parents in Malaysia are the most coward in the world in terms of education. They feared their children might not getting any future when they think creatively.

Too much focus on exams
This problem has been addressed for like how many years? Yes, it is an ancient problem my dear politicians. Excessive focus on exams even starts even in kindergarten I would say. This epidemic has led our teachers to ride along and focus on it as well. I’m neither say exams are good nor bad, but the present state has forced our teachers to do nothing but feeding students to get As in exams. Where are the rooms to think creatively? None. They do not test real-world problems in UPSR, PMR nor SPM. Yeah, like understanding reproduction system would enable the ones with less cognitive abilities to prevent themselves from having pre-marital sex. In fact, due to their levels of thinking and no room to discuss about it thoroughly (teachers have to catch up with syllabus), it will induce more cases of baby dumping.

Too much focus on Mathematics, Science, Languages then Music, Arts etc
To see what is the product of our current education systems? I dare say it is already in front of us. Look at our current politicians, professionals and low-income workers. Trust me; they were in the same education systems like we do. Maybe they are some changes here and there, but the fundamentals are not. We adopt British education system which was solely based to produce workers for Industrialisation in Europe. However, their system evolves but ours do not. Many still have the stigma that those who are doing Sciences are smarter and Mathematicians are genius. No, they are not. If not, Malaysia won’t be struggling now. We have to cater for the needs of future creative engineers who can multitask, future fisherman who can innovate new ways of catching fish and politicians with integrity. We would already have those if our education systems are not biased towards those who have higher intelligence.

Next article: How do we get out of this trap? –The Chukai Insider

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