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Reforming independent high schools

  • Education reforms for independent Chinese high schools have to be implemented with care only after thorough consideration.

Sin Chew Daily

After unveiling the Independent Chinese High School Education Blueprint 2017-2028 last year by Dong Zong, the independent Chinese high school educational reform committee has been actively exploring the solutions to put this into implementation, including a five-day week and reducing the number of periods for mathematics to five.

From what we understand, Dong Zong will hold a curriculum reform dialogue next Sunday. Among the issues to be discussed is whether a five-day week will eventually be adopted.

It is not the first time a five-day week is to be implemented at the country's independent Chinese high schools. This policy has been adopted by some schools in Klang Valley and Perak since 2015. As for Johor, Chinese High School has followed the footsteps of Pei Chun High School Pontian to practice the five-day week since last year.

We can see from here that five-day week has become a trend today even though it is yet to become the mainstay in Malaysian education.

There are reasons why more and more independent Chinese high schools are adopting the five-day week policy. To the teachers, five-day week helps relieve their tremendous work load and stress, allowing them to have more time to prepare their lessons and thus improve the quality of teaching.

At the same time, this will also give the teachers more time to upgrade themselves and promote their own personal growth.

As for the students, a five-day week policy will alleviate their tense schedule, allowing them to have more time to do their learning plans. Of course, the students must also be self-disciplined in order to maximize their learning capacity.

That said, they are still many who are against the five-day week policy.

These people are of the opinion that the education standard of independent high schools has been able to sustain because for so many years the students have been attending class six days a week and have more time to learn in classroom. The existing model will help the students inculcate the quality of diligence and hard work.

There are good reasons to support or oppose to the five-day week proposal, but one thing we need to remember is that the new policy will have a bearing on the students' learning and academic performance and therefore must be thoroughly considered before it is put into implementation. Most importantly, the teaching quality and the student's learning must not be compromised.

Additionally, reducing the number of mathematics periods to only five a week has also triggered backlash in the society given the fact that mathematics has always been the strength of independent high schools.

It is feared that the students' mathematics performance will be affected if the number of periods is slashed. This will in turn erode the schools' competitiveness.

Such fear is not unfounded, as many concerned parents and members of the community feel that this proposal must be looked into seriously.

We cannot deny that independent high schools cannot afford to stubbornly stick to the status quo and not adapt to the changes of the environment in this highly competitive world. However, where education reform is concerned, the authorities must look at the issue rationally from the macroscopic point of view to ensure that independent Chinese high schools will continue to flourish and produce outstanding future leaders of this country.

 

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