Education should not be segmented

Education should not be segmented

Date : 01 April 2019

Reported by : dsh

Category : News


STUDENTS who think more holistically will be produced if they are not streamed into Science or Arts, said Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman.

Malaysia’s first astrophysicist said streaming students reduces their exposure to the world. This is wrong, she said.

“When you look at the world, everything is interlinked and that makes life rich.

“To have an education where you get complete exposure, will give you more choices as you move forward,” she added.

Dr Mazlan welcomes Dr Maszlee’s call to go streamless, adding that education is one of the first things that need major reform.

“Not just the curriculum, but the entire ecosystem of education and most importantly, how we are going to train our teachers to engage with students and assess them not only from exams but from different skills and talents.

“It’s not about having enough teachers to do (this), but it’s about having the right teachers.”

The appreciation that Arts and Science should not be segmented is significant, said Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute Centre for Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam.

He said graduates, from school until university, should be well-rounded.

“Everybody should have a chance to appreciate (the) arts (such as) human studies as well as the details of science.

“As they advance, they (will) have a basic understanding of both areas which are interrelated, and then they can make up their mind when they enter pre-university,” he added.

International Islamic University Malaysia rector Prof Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak said the movement of STEM to STREAM is important because it goes back to the spirit of education.

When education is spoken in terms of one discipline, it is then not education, said Prof Dzulkifli.

“Education is about training a person as a whole, and not part of the person.

“STREAM is an acronym but behind it is the conversion of transdisciplinary (knowledge) and taking responsibility as an educated person,” he said.

Prof Dzulkifli believes the merging of Science and Arts will make students better people, and welcomes the idea of moving into a holistic and integrated education system.

“We need to move away from the government; universities and schools should take charge (of the implementation).

“With more autonomy in hand, we need to take independent decisions, be responsible educators and ensure (the implementation) succeeds.”

While the National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary general Harry Tan said the union supports Dr Maszlee’s proposal, they urged the ministry to implement a pilot project first.

“They should study the results before rolling out the programme.

“This is a serious issue with many implications; stakeholders at all levels must be consulted to ensure a smooth implementation,” he said.

Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said Dr Maszlee’s emphasis on the importance of ‘reading’ in STREAM is commendable.

“Reading is so crucial in education, and we have lost that culture.

“Arts too, need not necessarily mean painting and drawing, it could be sports, playing a musical instrument, singing or performing on a stage.

“This could be a more concerted and focused way of heading towards producing holistic students,” she said.

Noor Azimah, however, said this should not deter a student from pursuing pure Science or Arts.

At the end of the day, one still needs to appreciate both elements to lead a holistic life, she added.

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