Friday, January 14, 2011

The Solution is NOT the Peace Corps but REVAMPING the MINISTRY of EDUCATION

Did you read about the DPM's visit to the USA where he's going to ask Clinton to send the Peace Corps to Malaysia again?
The news only reflects the pathetic state of affairs in Malaysia's education system.
For the younger readers, the Peace Corps operated in Malaysia until the early 70s and that was the time that Malaysia made the switch to using Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction in the national schools.
Nowadays the Peace Corps operates only in places where education facilities are lacking; mostly in third world countries.
I hope Clinton will tell MY he should leave the Education Ministry to more capable people.
Remember how TDM decided just months before he retired that English was going to given more importance and switched back to teaching Maths and Science in the English language?
After about 5 years of struggling with the policy switch, the government has has decided that it will switch back again even though the students and teachers are beginning to see benefits.
It seems the problems with education in Malaysia lie not with the teachers and the pupils but with the Ministry of Education.
I suggest the following measures are important and will help Malaysia more than depending on the Peace Corps.
1.Remove all political elements in education policies.
2.Ensure teachers are properly trained in English and highly motivated.
3.Encourage more male teachers (the male/female ratio should be at least 35/65)
4.Fix the maximum number of pupils in a primary class to 30 or less.

During the 5 years since the Flip-flop, it would be interesting to discover the number of English-trained teachers who have graduated. By right, these teachers should be the vanguard of the move to move education forward in Malaysia.
What about the Peace Corps? NAH I don't think it will work as most of them will be sick of the rotten society Malaysia has become.
They will probably get into trouble with the authorities as they will also try to change society with some revolutionary ideas - and not just on teaching.

1 comment:

emberlim said...

In the 70s, when I was teaching in a rural school, we had a Peace Corps volunteer sent to our school. He was a very nice guy, but a lousy English teacher - couldn't spell, bad handwriting. He was not even trained as a teacher but the kids loved him because he allowed them to call him by his first name. You are right, the solution is NOT the Peace Corps.