Thursday, March 22, 2012

A is the first letter of the alphabet....

The SPM result season is upon us again. It is also the season for some mothers to go around bragging about the number of As her son or daughter got. Also the season for society to start comparing, "Anak sedara saya dapat 10A" "Sepupu saya dapat 8 ja." "Cucu saya 9A." And so on and so forth.

When did we become so A-oriented? How did we get here? As for me, I am not so much impressed with the number of As as I am with a person's ability to carry themselves in the real world. It would be great if the As come attached with a decent dose of common sense and the ability to communicate properly.

A renowned TV host pointed out that there are those who walk out of high school with 10 or 11 As yet are unable to form a proper sentence in English. When asked how did he/she get through the composition part of the English paper, the answer was that he/she memorized 150 English essays.

Is that the kind of A we should be proud of? That is the problem with our society. All we care about is the A. We refuse to look beneath it. It doesn't matter how the person got the A, as long as when it's results time, someone gets to brag about it. No doubt most of the students out there have studied hard in order to get their As. But we need to remember that poring over text books and reference books do not necessarily mean that the subject matter managed to sink in. The way our exams are designed, all it takes is some hard memorization and you'll ace it.

Application is not necessary. I've seen college students who can't construct proper sentences in English. Some would say that English is not important. I'm not gonna waste my breath arguing about that because I've already made my points on that matter a while back. Here's the link:

Our education system needs a major revamp. I will applaud our system in the sense that it covers a wide range of topics, but touching so many things and mastering nothing is simply pointless. Getting an A should also come with the knowledge an A is supposed to carry. What are we if we're not able to apply what we spent years studying? Reading lists should be widened in our schools. Are kids aware of certain great books that shaped our world? Are we teaching them the impact Hitler's ideology has on the course of the evolution of our society? We teach them dates, the chronology of certain events, names of great leaders, but do we apply the impact of said events to life today? If we did that, perhaps things would be different in Malaysia now. We'd have a lot of thinkers, instead of irrational decision-makers. We'd have citizens who are more aware of how important it is to practice common sense in everyday life, and how that, in return, would move us towards a better society in the future. A society not tied to superficiality. A society who will think before it acts. A society who will learn to look beneath the surface instead of being satisfied with the pretty picture on top. That is what is lacking in the world today. For the most part we seem to be content with what's on the surface. As long as the building looks pretty, who cares if the foundation is shoddy. At least no one will care until the whole building collapses and kills somebody. That is the mentality we need to change. And believe it or not, it all starts with our obsession with As. Let us learn to move past the As, and not overlook those with Bs and Cs. Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has a purpose to fulfill and a potential to realize. Do not write someone off simply because they do not have enough As on their transcripts. With that said, I am not putting down those who got As. Some of you are exceptional students, you get As and you are also able to apply what you studied and make yourselves better, someone with a good head on their shoulders, ready to take on the world and make it a better place. I applaud you if you are one of those students. What I'm trying to say is, there's more to life than collecting As. Take a moment to smell the roses, dance in the rain and jump off the diveboard. Sometimes they can make you realize things that are not in any textbooks. And while you're smelling the roses, dig around in the dirt, for that's where the roots are. Where it all begins. Life is more than just straight As. Much, much more.

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