Weed out outdated rote learning

The current education system is in need of urgent change, especially at the junior college level.

Here, great emphasis is placed on memorising large amounts of information in a short two-year period. This places too many expectations on each student, which causes stress and drains the joy out of learning.

I can see that in my classmates. They had looked forward to studying in JCs, but now often complain of having to stay up late to complete their homework and revision. This is coupled with the fatigue from long hours in school, which can end as late as 8.30pm.

Many JC-level subjects require memorisation, which takes time. However, this is an era when much of this information is available on the Internet. Hence, any student can easily use Google to find the answers they need.

I believe that the point has been reached where traditional learning methods no longer function effectively, and a change is needed urgently.

Students should learn the same amount of information as they do now, but with less emphasis on memorisation.

There are some who may think that good learning means knowing great amounts of information, but is this knowledge useful and applicable?

Will students still remember the information five years after graduation? Most of the time, they remember very little of what they learnt in JC.

I hope the Ministry of Education will make sweeping changes to the education system in the next few years, so that future generations of JC students can learn with greater joy and purpose.

- Terence Lee Xin Jin

This article was first published on Feb 16, 2015.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.