The growing number of private tuition in this country to me illustrates the growing feeling of dissatisfaction among parents to government-sponsored schools in providing all students with ‘Grade A’ result in examination. It is indeed, misleading, when students are judged on how many ‘A’s they acquired while those intangible talents without ‘A’s are considered insignificance.
I think, the main problem with our school system lies with the fact that it depends very much on paper qualification. Intangible criteria like leadership quality, artistic talent, creativity and innovation, social network and intelligence are not taking into account for passing and failing the exam.
My friends and I were involved in preparing psychometric testing organized by the Malaysian Examination Board and I am happy to note that the government has taken measures to reduce dependency on paper qualification. The new system will assess students based on aptitude, talent and multiple intelligences.
On the same note, I would like to suggest that the government reconstructs the main stream education by making it compulsory for students to be in school from eight to five. Many of rural schools which I visited already have tuition programs in place. Those programs are even more extensive ranging from evening to night especially for students who are undertaking important examination.
In this extended program, play and socialization activities should be emphasized. Books should be kept in school. Religious and moral inputs should be given fair attention at all time. Children should be allowed to rest before activity resumed in the afternoon. Lunch should be provided in school.
This measure can curb dependency on private tuition. At the same time, schools can act as guardian while most parents are still at work.