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Despite millions of ringgit spent to improve the system, the education standard is going

downhill in Malaysia. The article “Making ‘grade’ strides : Fixing Malaysia’s Education System”
was written by Shazwan Zulkifli, an author of Free Malaysia Today, an independent online news
portal with a focus on Malaysian current affairs. As the title of the article indicates, the writer
expressed his disappointments towards the current Malaysian education system, in which is
being too exam-oriented and deviating from the true purpose that the world is exposed to.
Although the author has some good points, his article is biased to some extent and contains
some unproven data regarding the issue.

This article is produced by the author after watching a video by Nur Ameera Mohd Noor,
ranting about the Malaysian Education System which the writer partially agreed with her
arguments of the video contents. The article mainly talks about the problems of the education
system in Malaysia from the writer’s point of view. The Malaysian education system in Malaysia
has indeed proven to be in a sad scenario. As reported in The Malay Mail Online (2015),
Malaysia is 52nd out of 76 countries in mathematics and science proficiency. The articles states
that some Malaysian graduates are still shallow in the English language proficiency, although
the English language is the second language in Malaysia.

School is an institution where the nation learns to construct frameworks for seeing the
world and how they work (Abdul Wahed, 2017). The writer stated some of his thoughts and
hopes to lessen the problems faced in our education system. The main purpose of the writer is
to criticize that the Malaysian education system should be 21st century-orientated. The writer
states that in order for students to attend school willingly, interesting and challenging activities
should be carried out to motivate students in school. I agree to this solution as I believe that
students should start a day with a positive mind set. By having something that can motivate
students to carry out their responsibilities, they will feel more than willing to do their best.

The writer has a rather modernized view on education that is not quite compatible with
the reality. As said by the writer, schools today do not need to follow the traditional way of the
schooling system by implementing uniformed rules. Students being abide by traditional school
rules implemented from the years before will only restrict students of this era in conveying their
creativity and expressive minds. I agree with this to a certain extent but some traditional school
rules are still suitable for the present school system. As students are key stakeholders and the
most essential resources in education, it is absolutely necessary to direct students to exhibit
acceptable attitude and behaviour within and outside the school (Ndeto, 2013). The
implementation of coming to school at a certain timing set by the school is to educate students
the importance of punctuality. If this rule is to be abolished, it might affect the students’
perception on the consequences of being late. Moreover, students will have no conception on
the importance of timing. Also, restricting boys from having long hair is the right thing to do. It is
crucial to groom them into neat and tidy people. A person should be appropriately presentable
in the eyes of the public. Implementing this school rule will help to shape them for the future.
McKenzie & Rutto (2008) states that student’s discipline is an essential to almost everything a
school has to offer to them. School rules are set not just for the sake of having students to look
good or behave well only in schools, but these rules will indirectly be the foundation of their well-
being when being put into the real world.

According to the writer, teachings should be based more on art and expression-oriented
activities. This teaching method will indeed benefit learners who are soulfully inclined with art
but a stumbling block to those who are visual learners. According to Montgomery & Groat
(1998), there are three types of learners, namely visual learners, auditory learners and
kinesthetic learners. Visual learners will benefit from learning through reading, auditory learners
on the other hand will learn more through listening while kinesthetic learners gain from
movement and touching. We all process information differently and it is important to realize how
one specifically learns so that we understand the types of situations and environment that can
help one to learn best. Therefore, it is an unfair statement to say if the 21st century teachings are
to be implemented on art-based as it will not help to improve or rather interest all students in
their learning process.

In conclusion, the arguments in the article show the presence of biasness in certain
aspects of the education system. These points show the writer is writing from just one point of
view, without considering other aspects. The points stated by the author has weaken his
arguments and reduce his credibility of fully understanding the scenario that surrounds the
education system in Malaysia.
References
Abdul Wahed, J. (2017, May 2). Rethinking our education. Retrieved September 9, 2017, from The New
Straits Times: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2017/05/235683/rethinking-our-
education

As Singapore tops world, Malaysia ranks low on latest OECD maths and science scores. (2015, May 13).
Retrieved September 9, 2017, from The Malay Mail Online:
http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/as-singapore-tops-world-malaysia-ranks-
low-on-latest-oecd-maths-and-science

McKenzie, P. M., & Rutto, C. (2008). Better Discipline in your school, a head teacher‟s guide. Nairobi:
Rinny Publishers.

Montgomery, S. M., & Groat, L. N. (1998). Student learning styles and their implications for teaching.
CRLT Occasional Papers, 10. Retrieved September 9, 2017, from
http://web.uri.edu/teach/files/Student-Learning-Styles-and-Their-Implications-for-Teaching.pdf

Ndeto, M. A. (2013). Effectiveness of School Rules and Regulations in Enhancing Disciplin in Public
Schools in Kanguno Division, Machakos County, Kenya. A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment
of the Requirements for the Award of the Degree of Master of Education in Educational
Administration and Planning. Retrieved September 9, 2017, from
http://ir.cuea.edu/jspui/bitstream/1/90/1/Anna%20Maria%20Ndeto.pdf