Tuesday, March 22, 2005

[ReCom.org] Lots of A1s, does it show anything?

lyzzy wrote:

This quote and some other comments (which is somewhere around, I'm pretty sure I saw it, but perhaps it's in another thread) that suggested that we should specialize early and not do so many subjects in SPM that's not related to our future career....

That's crazy talk... same goes for everyone who suggests that we specialize so early in life. I don't agree with the whole culture of acquiring As fo the sake of acquiring As, but neither do I agree of this idea of specializing so early - it narrows your mindset and your thinking

An engineer needs other subjects too, you know. Writing, literature, art, music, history and all that.... otherwise, you are not 'educated', you are just a machine, doing something because you get something. There is a good percentage of the population with this mindset (mostly chinese), and that's why the chinese stereotype "cinapek" comes in. You may be a capable engineer who's very good at what you do - but you are still uneducated if you don't appreciate art or lit or music or whatever.

I'm not saying that an engineer should spend ALL his time learning music, and no time on engineering and math, but I'm suggesting a healthy balance. Knowledge is never useless, no matter what you are doing.

Malaysians (including myself) tend to think that careers are fixed for your entire life - that's not true...SPM is just the first step. So any extra knowledge is always good, should you think about switching careers.

Youngyew wrote:

I think you are referring to my post in the other thread.

I agree that we should not fix our outlook so early in our life. In fact, nobody should fix the career prospect even when he or she has graduated from a university degree. There's never a thing called fixed, as long as life is concerned. You can always do something that suit you best, even when your interest does change later in your life.

However, as far as SPM is concerned, I beg to differ with lyzzy. Yes, do offer as many choices as possible to the students, and do promote them to take up subjects that suit their interest; but, don't make them swallow things that are totally irrelevant to career or interest. One of the most obvious example that is already discussed many times is science stream student taking sains teras.

When I said that we should be able to determine what he or she wants to do when they start taking form 4, what I really meant is that he should be able to at least narrow down the scope of the possible career paths. You know, I realize that there are many people out there who cannot recognize yet their real interest and career choice in form 4, so they are certainly in a quandary if they are forced to choose. I was one (cannot choose career). However, people should at least eliminate the thing that they are uninterested in. In my case, art subjects are out for me because I am neither well-versed or interested in them. Well, you can argue that people may have super wide interest that they simply like every subject offered by the examination board, but then again, where is the focus if we do so?

Yes, very true is the statement that we need multi-dimensional development in personal growth and knowledge acquisition. We need to know more about everything even though it is not related to the stuff we are actually working for. However, let's be multi-dimensional in real sense instead of in marking-scheme sense. I don't want people who take up all sorts of subjects, get A1 in every single one of them and know every single marking scheme of the papers; but don't know much about things outside the scheme. (refer to my post in the other thread) It's happening, as far as my experience can tell. So tell me, is it "multi-dimensional" as you would call it?

Ideologically, what we implement in our education system is "quite good". We get our choices, we get the freedom to choose. But with bad execution, excessive pressures resulted by glorification of N A1-er and the unfair comparison between students who took different number of subjects, I don't see a healthy growth of the whole system. Something certainly needs to be remedied.