We in Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan view with consternation the recent event at a primary school in Putrajaya at which pupils and teachers participated in class decoration, waved UMNO flags and sang UMNO song. Such an event and conduct reflects a nation with leaders of first world infrastructure, but with a third world mentality.
Primary school children are supposed to learn to read, write and do arithmetic. Concurrently, they should be taught good values through properly designed civic lessons. Preferably, they should also be taught to think, to be inquisitive and ask questions besides learning to respect others. Primary school children, despite their young age must be treated with love, dignity and respect. Politics, political logo, political songs even under the guise of learning history, do not have a place in such institution of learning and molding for the vulnerable young. Allowing such event to happen at the primary school not only shows abdication of responsibility, but it painfully has corrupted the minds of our young. Shamefully, it is no wonder then that our education system has been fast on the decline as reported by the World Bank.
The 2013 World Bank report, “Malaysia Economic Monitor: High Perfroming Education”, pointed to Malaysia’s aim to gain high-income status, but achieved low education standard instead. The report also stated that the quality of cognitive skills of Malaysia students is not on par with the country’s aspiration to become a high-income country. Malaysia not only trailed high-performing education system in East Asia, but also poorer nations like Vietnam. We lack far behind our closest southern neighbor. In the benchmark for the trends in international mathematics and science study, our education system declined sharply in 2007 and much further by 2011.
It has often been said that the success of a country relies on the success of its education system. Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan urges our national leaders, and that in the Ministry of Education to heed the World Bank’s warning on our declining education standards. Politics, and politics in whatever guise, are out of bounds in our schools.