Wednesday, March 16, 2005

[] About 17A1...

Normally, my online activities are no other than checking emails, chatting with friends, checking friend's blogs, reading online news, and posting messages in Recom (Worldwide Malaysian Student Network). Talking about ReCom, it has always been my favourite hangout because it's literally where the best of Malaysian students congregate. Most of the time I feel like a little kid in the blog, because I can hardly cope with the maturity and depth in which they discuss about issues or even daily issues in the forum. I have always been posting my thoughts and opinions in the ReCom forum or alike, and there's where half of my online time slipped away.

Besides, once in a blue moon, I would also post some comments on others blogs, among them Jeff Ooi's who is the de facto no.1 Malaysian blogger. Boring? Too serious? Well, I also have the same feeling for some contents of the blogs, but I think there is where the age comes into play. Maybe at the age of 20, I am not capable of appreciating just how important and relevant these issues are. While trying to learn and pick up one thing or two, I have also posted some comments whenever it comes to my concern, for example education system and so on. Besides the wish of getting my voice heard (in accordance to the motto of "think allowed, think aloud" in, it's also a good way of communicating with other blog readers and exchange ideas with a great degree of freedom.

In the future, I will paste some of my posted comments in other blogs and ReCom for my records and for your interest (that is if you are interested what the hell I am thinking). When I do so, I will always include a square bracket (like [this one]) to indicate that it is a pasted article.

So here is it for today. My thought about the latest "national record" in SPM. Have a good read, and think about it.

First and foremost, congratulations to Nur Amalina for setting a new national record and mark your name in the history of Malaysia's education system! You certainly have proved your ability, eradicated the general bias against the academic aptitude of Malay students and made your family gleam with pride. I extent my heartfelt wish that you can excel in your future.

I am happy for those N-scorers, but for some of them, I think I would have to say something - "I took N subjects because I want to have a flexible choice in my career" is a total crap to me. Admit it, we take N subjects because of our vain and the desire to be recognized and become famous overnight, no one is chewing textbooks and marking schemes for the sake of "more career choices". If you have the ability and time to manage the workload of N subjects, I would like to believe that you would have the right mindframe from the beginning of Form 4 to decide on the path of your career. If you don't want to say that "I take N subjects because I want to be famous", then just don't say it. You don't have to make some ridiculous statements like "I want to have a flexible career choice" and "I would like to be an economist" AT THE SAME TIME. If he or she could get N 1A's, he or she would have known the meaning of "contradiction of premises".

Next, reduce the glorification of those straight A1 scorers, my dear media! You are only breeding those exam-orientated tuition centres and exerting more pressures on the future students! Yes, having been a perfect scorer in SPM myself (I took 10 subjects), I know the barrier one needs to overcome en route to obtaining perfect scores. But bear in mind, this is not all the education is about. Yes, please give a big hand or standing ovation to those who have made it, but please never forget the cliche that high-achievers in examination aren't necessarily high-achievers in universities, not to mention life itself. With the ever more simplified syllabus of SPM every year, I can say with full confidence that not all straight A1 scorers are excellent students. In line with JPA's undocumented policy of sending primarily straight A1 students (in the case of non-bumi students) to overseas top universities, it implies that the government is actually glorifying and sponsoring hordes of mediocre students as a result of the poor quality examination. What a waste.

Last but not least, parents across the country, getting 17A1s are essentially not related to being intelligent or knowledgeable. I am not saying this with reference to Nur Amalina, but high-scorers in general. I think I am in a good position to say this grounded from my own experience in taking examinations. Years have told me that smart and knowledgeable students normally don't get perfect exam slip, but scheme-expert students do. I know I am making a generalization here, but then again, it's really the majority that I am talking about. Get any straight 1A scorers, and they can tell you from A to Z about the marking scheme and what's in (or not in) the syllabus. Test them something which is "slightly out of syllabus", and guess what? Most of them simply won't know, simply because "it's not tested larrr". So ask yourself, is this the education you need to develop a country? A country who supposedly will march towards becoming a developed nation by 2020?

I am enrolled in an Australian university, and I just learnt how competent oversea students can be (and how non-competent I and Malaysians can be). You know what is the other thing I learnt? Astronomic amount of 1A is good for pride and make a keepsake out of the certificate, but we really need something more than that.

p/s: It's noticeable that the Malaysia SPM paper has become easier one year after another. I once heard a joke from (malaysian worldwide student forum) that with the increasing number of straight 1A scorers, it's believed that by 2020 straight A scorers will definitely be in the majority among all candidates. :-) Ironic huh.


Ren Jie said...

Hmm, I've promised you to leave a comment on this topic, so now it's time to share my opinion lar, but then, haha, you know, my opinion should be full of crap and nonsense, i guess :p

17A1, that is really incredible!!! I've to salute her for the courage to take so many subjects and she excelled. But seriously, as many people say, why the hell did she need to take 17 subjects? For what did she take 17 subjects? Just for the sake to break the 16A record? For the sake of appearing on the headlines in various mass media? I've no idea. I can't deny her excellence in this sense, not many people have the guts to take up 17 subjects, that might sound really insane, afterall, you no need to take such a hell lot of subjects to show that you have a wide range of interest or to show that you are extraordinary or outstanding or whatever. You know where you stand...

I've to say, if i were to take extra subjects, I wouldn't take that many. I took Prinsip Akaun in F5 because I thought of being an accountant. That's all. (Full stop.) Not for the sake of taking one more subject or getting one more A1. I took that because of I really thought of being an accountant...erm, so how about the 17 subjects? Sains teras? Kesusasteraan Bahasa Melayu? What for if she knows that she wants to become a doctor? If she did that because she loves the subjects, well... she can just pursue the interest on her own...

Yeah, I have to say congrats to her for breaking the record and appearing as the top student in the nation. But..I just don't see the need of taking so many subjects. Seriously. I prefer quality more than quantity. There is no use if our country keeps on churning out students with a hell lot of A1 but their standard is not that high. A lot of A doesn't mean anything. And life itself is not measured by the number of A you get...