Friday, January 9, 2009

Teaching a nine year old from a Malaysian local school

The trick to teaching a nine year old boy who has to study three distinct languages, from a Malaysian local school is one of patience and something I have yet to learn.

My son goes to Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) or Natioanal Type Chinese school Lai Meng. A fairly good school with a multicultural base that is predominantly chinese language based. His homework is enormous which speaks volumes about the standard of education in this country.

Basically, while education, as in most asian countries, is thought of as a primary importance, this country has an opinion, by the way it teaches, that it is irrelevant to its nationals. Something I feel we must consider as a failing, especially where there is a distinct and known need to do better. However, should one approach a teacher stating such is a problem, it is likely that the teacher will "blow a fuse", deny it vehemently, than attack the person posing the question with a barrage such as "..when did you get your teaching certificate!" and other nonsense. Isn't it time we look closely at this and say to ourselves, the child is a child and our jobs are not fulfilled unless we pass the information that is required for their future to them.

We can entertain 0urselves with all kinds of reasons why the child is failing, but are those reasons sound. In other words, do we expect too much of the child. Are the basics and basic understandings all there or are we to lead the child on a path that denigrates that childs inherent abilities. No child is stupid, it is always, and will always be the system.

The answer to this, for this country at least is that we need a better system of education. No child left behind is one policy that would support this.

In fairness, a classroom of over thirty students is a difficult and almost impossible reality that teachers face. The time to deal with every question is infinitesimally small and does not allow for the teacher to provide the education the child needs. However, teachers can be less bullying and more human. Stop scolding the children and help them learn!

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