Happiness test
Sun, Mar 14, 2010
Sin Chew Daily/Asia News Network

Under the Literacy and Numeracy (LINUS) programme, all Year One students are required to sit for the LINUS test. Would such an education reform work? Is it necessary to do so?

I am not able to answer the questions as I am not a child education expert.

Perhaps Education Ministry is well-intentioned and worried that our next generation may lose at the starting point, so they come out with the LINUS programme.

But the problem is, winning at the starting point does not necessarily mean winning the game and vice versa.

Albert Einstein, who came out with the Theory of Relativity, used to be a child with learning disabilities.

Thomas Edison, who brought lights to mankind, used to be teased as a fool.

However, both the idiot and fool, who had fallen behind at the starting point, turned out as the final winners.

The controversial Bahsa Malaysia and Mathematics test programme may have better intentions but I take a constant stand: listen to their words and watch their deeds.

It is because a well-intentioned programme does not necessarily bring good results. And good results require good planning, design and timing.

Hasty implementation will only result in failure.

Therefore, I am not optimistic about the LINUS programme. Sure enough, parents were shocked, teachers have been complaining and students are crying. People are condemning the programme.

Chinese primary school students, teachers and parents think the Bahasa Malaysia test is too difficult. It has in fact been expected.

How could it be not difficult for Chinese primary school students, who have just enrolled for a month, to sit for the unified Bahasa Malaysia test, which is also used in national primary schools?

Students will fail the Mathematics test with only one wrong answer. What a ridiculous standard! Just like whipping students who gain 99 marks, it is abusing the students instead of educating them.

The true purpose of education has been completely distorted.

Year One students, who are supposed to attend lessons happily with eager curiosity, are now extremely feared of books and they have no passion for learning at all. Is this what we want?

Children are innocent. They do not understand why adults are so crazy to force them to take such a scary "high standard" test even before they are adapted to the new learning environment.

Education is supposed to gradually cultivate useful individuals without discrimination. But these most fundamental education concepts have been totally neglected under our so-called education reform.

Education needs reform and it should keep up with time. There is nothing wrong with the concept but it is wrong when our education is too examination-oriented, comparison-oriented and score-oriented.

Worse still, education, which is supposed to be very simple, has often be intentionally or unintentionally politicised, or even racialised. As a result, it becomes complicated and chaotic.

The consequences? Our poor children have either become guinea pigs or robots under the control of adults. They have lost their innocent, as well as their happiness. The ideology and original intention of education have been distorted!

Why doesn't the Ministry Education conduct a happiness test on our children?

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