Thursday, August 18, 2016

Need chocolate, or cakes, or both

This must come out. 

I am stressed, tired, and feeling very helpless. For many meetings with or without us, the English panel has been the target of criticism, simply because students perform the worst in English.

We get scolded, publicly shamed, and it is very embarrassing. Some things are being overlooked, the blame pointed directly to teachers.

1. Students' proficiency level
I might have said this before. Damn, they can't even write sentences, they can't even pronounce easy words like deny, like advantages. You can scold them using a whole long sentence in English and they'll just smile at you, looking confused. AND WE ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE THEM PASS, AND MAKE THEM SCORE? They are not even sure about the 5W and 1H.

Students at this age, especially the exam classes, their language ability is already shaped. It all goes back to their primary school or even pre-school education. There's only so little we can do to help.

2. Motivation 
Students are not at all motivated. They come to school just because they have to, they play with friends, they sing, they sleep, they sneak to toilet for cigarette breaks. I always feel like a clown, doing all sorts of things to grab students' attention, but all I get is confirmation on my earlier feeling; indeed I am a clown, they don't even care. True, I can do fun activities, I can let them sing, play with them, but we are supposed to focus on results. 

We say the education system in Malaysia is a failure, yet we are working towards the very same direction. When can we stop judging elephants on their ability to fly.

I can't help wondering how different my students' lives would be were they born and brought up somewhere else. It would have been so different right? I don't know how to make them look beyond here and realize what education can do for them and their families.

And I'm seriously tired. My voice is tired, my brain is tired, I am tired.

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