The raging debate surrounding our education system seems to be over the medium of instruction for maths and science.
Sadly, however, not enough attention is being paid to the content and approach we have adopted, which straitjackets and stifles young minds.
Let me relate an anecdote told to me by the parents of a 11-year-old boy, J:
J was asked by his school teacher to write a short karangan (composition) about a Malaysian hero he admires and to give reasons for his choice.
The boy promptly penned a few lines about Anwar and Nizar and to support his choice, he said they had korban (sacrificed) a lot for the country, etc.
When J handed in the assignment to his teacher, he was told that it would not be accepted as he would get kosong (zero) for it. The teacher then showed J a sample (contoh) karangan and told him to write another composition. This time, J was given examples of heroes he could write about – sports stars such as Nicol David, Shalin Zulkifli and Lee Chong Wei were acceptable heroes.
This was a young lad in Perak who was shaping his thoughts based on the conversations he had overhead from the adults around him and what he had seen around him. But he was told his karangan would be rejected because his choice of wira (hero) was not appropriate.
And then we wonder why our students cannot think and analyse for themselves and make sense of the world around them.