Since I don't really celebrate Christmas, so yesterday started with my usual routine - reading newspapers. On Thursday, a cousin of mine received her PMR examination result. I must say congratulations to her, on the excellent achievement.
I still remember my school years (not so long ago). School years should be about self development- learning skills and obtaining knowledge, and of course to really understand an individual wants or/and capabilities as a person mature. However, there are ONLY two things for all students to 'worry' and pay extra-extra-extra attention when you are in Malaysian schools, 1) the national examinations and 2) the grades you get for those exams.
It is a major, but odd, culture that sprout and has become so strongly established; of which at the expense of children's emotional and psychological well-being. Since the national education systems are so well known for its examination driven culture, school children are more likely to suffer 'stress' than the adults. (You can easily Google this topic to find debates arguments on the issue.)
When the government started to change the grading and evaluation system for school children, it carries a lot of weights, promoting the idea of a holistic education system. Students are no longer to be evaluated just based on subjects taken for exams, but to be also assessed by other extra-curricular activities that are not classroom-centered.
Nevertheless, I was quite stunned to see most major newspapers chose to highlight stories of the straight A's students on their front page. A few dailies even have several pages to only show pictures and news of students who excel in the recent PMR examination. I can bet that half of the students that are now known as 'straight A's achievers' did nothing but only study for the exams (i.e. attend class, do homework, attend tuitions, continuously with books, etc.). No offense to the achievers, I understand that those efforts are required to get such accomplishment in your school-life. Nerds or geeks often scored the best in exams, but too often they fail to develop other essential social and living skills; which will pose them much difficulties as they enter tertiary education and work later in life.
Kudos to all the achievers, but did they have forgotten to other students whom have worked hard (or even harder) but were not as lucky as their peers who scored straight A's? And what about students which obtained just average result but excel in other areas like arts or sports?
I wonder how the SPM results news would be in March ~~(>.<)~~
Just for records, I was also a straight A's student!