“When our sekolah kebangsaan once again becomes the first option for every family of every race and every income class, it will be a big indicator that our nation is back on the right track”
We tend to get obsessed with what schools teach or do not teach. Have we forgotten that learning, first and most important of all, begins at home?
When I was in standard 1, I could name all 9 planets in the solar system in their proper order and argued with my classmates who said that the Sun was smaller than the Earth. I thought that Zeus was really the king of gods and asked my parents why aren’t they worshipping him. The school didn’t teach me these, I had books at home from which I read these trivia, and my parents took the time to accompany my siblings and I to the town library at least twice a week.
When I was in standard 3 I found out that the difference between graphite and diamond was that the former had Van Der Waals force holding layers of carbon together but the latter had covalent bonds, and this was an example of an allotrope. I found out about this nerd shit because my brother, who was in standard 6, started reading up in advance to prepare himself for secondary school and brought back a bunch of borrowed books that included upper secondary science workbooks. I picked up and read those books as well since they were lying around. This was just a natural by-product of curiosity and a reading habit.
These days, many parents just leave it to the school to educate their kids. After school, they will just chuck their kids to one or two tuition classes. Whatever happened to cultivating curiosity? Whatever happened to parents sitting down with their kids to help them with their homework and revision, and then spending some quality outdoor time together in the evening instead of imprisoning the kids in a tuition class?
I know that our daily careers in this day and age tend to suck up a lot of our time, but if we really want our kids to excel, we will have to make the effort to carve up some time to accompany them in their journey of learning and for that matter, their journey of life itself.
That being said, I do strongly believe that the national school system will need revamping and upgrading. Only when the sekolah kebangsaan system has good passionate teachers, excellent syllabus and a learning system that encourages balanced development beyond the usual Asian exam-centric focus, can we seriously demand for it to be the sole national education option and abolish vernacular schools.
When our sekolah kebangsaan once again becomes the first option for every family of every race and every income class, it will be a big indicator that our nation is back on the right track.