21 February 2011

Non-Level Playing Field in Judging of Top Schools

An opinion by a PIBG in Petaling Jaya.

Monday February 21, 2011

Judging of top schools not done fairly

A few years back, “performing schools” were accorded the title Sekolah Harapan Negara and later Sekolah Cemerlang. These schools were given monetary rewards.

Not long after that, the Education Minister announced the “cluster schools”.

The reward was RM500,000 per school. Now they have been rebranded as “Sekolah Berprestasi Tinggi” with an award of RM700,000.

If one were to go through the records, it can be seen that the same schools are benefiting every year.

Most of the schools are in big towns or boarding schools. The day schools seem to be left behind.

A school principal once commented “It’s a futile exercise for us and we are fed up! Year after year, we are chasing for the moon!”

Just look at the present 23 schools selected and you will see the trend.

We can guess what type of schools will be selected next year.

For the so-called elite or boarding schools, it is plain sailing as they have good students while we toil with the leftovers.

There is no control on day school intakes.

For instance, good primary schools in “elite” areas will have to accommodate foreigners who hardly speak Bahasa Malaysia or English.

Sometimes the district offices transfer students from Band 7 schools (weak schools) to promising schools and this frustrates the teachers who have nurtured their students from day one.

Look at the big schools in town areas that have between 700 and 1,000 students and with a class of 40 students.

How can one compare this to a rural school, such as in Ulu Lubai in Sarawak, where the number of students and teachers in the school are 30 and 12 respectively?

The school’s core business is to provide a good education to the students. Giving monetary rewards on a non-level playing field is demoralising, especially if it is done repeatedly.

Petaling Jaya.


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