So I was reading the newspaper today. One of the articles which are submitted by readers caught my attention and I really wish it did not. However since I read it, I feel compelled to give my response as well as to oppose what this person wrote because I have to strongly disagree with some of the writer’s views.
I will quote exactly what it was written to make it convenient for you guys to be read it.
“I DON’T understand why some people have to condemn straight-A’s students. The As are obtained through their ability and hard work and should serve as the stepping stone for them to achieve their dreams.
There’s a myth that students who are more active in the co-curricular front possess more leadership qualities than the rest. It is certainly not true, as the posts they hold are mainly because they are popular.
The rat race to get the posts is almost like a popularity contest, as it is mostly based on the number of votes they get from students.
The public universities’ selection of students should be based only on their examination results. We do no want doctors who were active participants in co-curricular activities yet have Bs and Cs on their examination slips.
True, the workforce needs quality and well-rounded graduates but I would like to re-state that the number of posts a student holds do not determine their character as a whole. If the Government wants to nurture a well-rounded workforce, start by overhauling the education system and offer a holistic education.
It is not right for the students with more posts to have an advantage over the students with none. Please take their hard work into consideration.
Lastly, I would like to proudly proclaim that my younger sister scored 13As in her SPM. She didn’t hold any posts in school, but her peers continue to describe her being sociable, outgoing and an intelligent person, who should serve as a role model for all students.
Man that was a handful to type. Okay to break it down for you people, there is 7 paragraphs in that article and I will be referring to them in that order.
First paragraph she says that straight As students work hard as well have the ability and should serve “as the stepping stone” for them to achieve their dreams. That is right. One stepping stone. I could not agree more. However I have to disagree in the sense that she makes it sound like getting straight As is so difficult and requires so much “hard work” as she put it. Since she obviously does not bring any evidence of research I will consider whatever she says as assumptions and only her oh-so limited views. It may require “hard work” to get straight As in exams in high schools, in Malaysia. However most of the students I have witness use the method of pure exercise in helps of memorizing things. When asked to explain how certain things work and the reason why they work that way. Most of them will not be able to answer or explain. This is based on my experiences. I do not claim things I cannot back up with grounds and research. The people I have come across in tertiary education, most of them have are straight A students. When I first entered college I used to have this misconception that they were all intelligent. The more I got to know them and as time went by through semesters, their performances and behavior proved otherwise. When it comes to practicality and presentations, they were the least impressive. Their grades in written exams did not distinct much from the average joes. Heck why stop at college students? I have studied abroad in universities. It is the same pattern. I have teamed up with Malaysian students who supposedly have good grades in high school. However when it came to practical work and even a simple task as handling documentation, they were completely at a lost.
Second & third paragraph. She says the people who are active in co-curricular activities tend to possess leadership qualities than the rest is a myth. How blind or ignorant do you have to be to say that it is a myth? People who join co-curricular activities are actually going out there and interacting with other people. Any normal person without an impediment of thinking would sooner or later be more experienced with interacting with different kinds of people with that amount of exposure compared to people who just stay at home studying and going to tuitions. If she had said something like “not everybody who participate in those activities develop leadership skills” then it would be true but to disregard it entirely and to call it a myth, is an insult especially to those who actually did participate in co-curricular activities. Her perspective is, that the reason why these people hold certain posts in a club/society/organization is because they are popular. Now tell me, how does a person who does not have some form of socializing skill (which can be closely related to leadership capabilities) be able to become popular in the first place? A person who has the abilities to lead and handle things but is not good with other people will never be able to be elected for these posts in clubs/societies/organizations so of course the popular ones will be elected.
Fourth paragraph. Oh this one really struck my nerve. She says the public universities’ selection of students should be based only on their examination results. She claims that people do not want doctors who were active participants in co-curricular activities yet have Bs and Cs on their examination slips. It does sound very elitist. However it sounds elitists without justifiable reasons and based on prejudice. To break it down even more. First of all, high schools in Malaysia are different in their way of teaching and also of hiring of teachers furthermore their syllabus keeps changing. It shows instability in the education system. The reality of the situation is that there are more least satisfactory schools than actual decent schools around. It will always be that way. What if a person goes to a school and is a victim of bad education? Will it be his fault and should he suffer the consequences by not being able to enter universities who only accept straight-A students? By the way, what in the world does a doctor having Bs and Cs on his examination “slips” have anything to do with his capability as a dedicated doctor? Well I can only assume the reason why she could only think of a doctor with non-A grades, is the best her mind can come up with, due to her already limiting views. I guess she’s one of those people that think being a doctor is the only way to go. To make money. See? I can claim shit too without having to prove it. I will admit to you all here and now that I was never a good student. I had less than satisfying grades in high school and even in college. However I was fortunate and blessed enough to actually get into a college and then proceed to studying abroad. I can say that I excelled in practical work as in assignments and projects compared to those so called Straight-As students. People should always be given chances to prove themselves. Nobody is perfect as long as they want to continue trying to improve themselves why should they be stopped and be punished by not being accepted into higher education because of their bad grades?
Fifth paragraph. She reiterates that the workforce (now she’s involving the workforce) should not determine people who hold many number of posts as their character definition. I guess she means that not everybody who holds various posts in whatever activities are considered capable and deserving of their job positions. Well if these “Straight As students” would actually have the initiative or “intelligence” to cease the opportunities themselves, there would not be a problem in the first place now would it? She then proceeds to involve the Government saying that they should overhaul the education system; which I agree however also disagree by her need to involve the government. Reason being she was talking about students themselves, saying that Straight-As students should deserve better and blablabla. However now she is saying that the government has something to do with the less than satisfying education system? Is it just me or is there a contradiction somewhere? If she is all out for Straight-As students, it should mean that there are no problems with them. Then why the need for an overhaul of the education system?
Sixth paragraph. I guess she got tired of thinking. She continues to say that it is not right for the students with more posts to have an advantage over the students with none. Look woman. Studying is not everything in life K!? In the working world you do not get paid to merely do as you’re told. You do not get paid to study and get straight As. You do not study and take exams to cure people if in fact thats what you want those people to be; doctors.
It sounds like you have a vendetta against people who participated in co-curricular activities and for whatever reason, I do not know.
“Lastly” she proudly proclaims her sister getting 13As in SPM. Of course she would do that as a cop out attempt to strengthen her views, saying her “peers” continue to “describe” her as being sociable, outgoing and an intelligent person who should serve as a role model for all students.
Why use “peers” and not friends?
Why use “describe” and not some simpler direct meaning word?
Well if she was in fact meaning friends, what friend would say unpleasant things about their friends?
Being sociable and outgoing, anybody can do that. As a friend, who would really stick around when troubles arises? That is if the person does not just study all his/her life.
There are many words in Malaysia that are misused and misinterpreted. I believe “intelligent” is one of them. Being able to get good grades in exams does not make a person intelligent. Being able to come up with different methods which may be better for a solution is an example of being intelligent.