If you could change how schools work, what would you change? What is wrong with how public education for kids is structured? What works well? What specific things about school do you remember, good and bad?
Schools; the temporary mental training hubs and the heaven’s place in a form of hell’s curriculum and torturing classrooms. This is the truth from the perspective of many young Bruneians. “Schools are boring”. “Schools make me sick because I hate to wake up early every morning just to hear my lazy and insincere teachers nagging about his or her life as for wasting his or her times teaching us and this gives me the natural ninja technique of applying the stealth mode of deceived, by pretending to listen and look at my teachers’ whiteboards but at the same time, letting my thoughts flow in the joyful fantasy of everyday life of video games, movies, comics………”
Well maybe I’m going too far. Maybe not all children in Brunei love to play video games, but most of them do. I remember I was one of them when I was at primary school and even during my secondary years. I had ‘O’ Level examinations at the corner of the month, but I didn’t concentrate much on the syllabus but playing Mortal Combat or Metal Gear Solid every evening. That was my school years. I’m not so sure about you. But if you are born in the late 1980s, you must be smiling right now. Of course your sex gender has to be male if you want to understand my situation at that time. I have no idea if girls who was born in the late 80s love to play Metal Gear Solid by the time they reach 9 years old.
On the face of it, it is blatantly obvious that I disliked schools in the past. Let me repeat it again, IT WAS BORING. But you must concentrate on my usage of “Was” which is the cousin past tense of “is”.
Because ever since I graduated from Law School, I soon have grown to realize the importance of education for my future well-being. Like a hammer hitting my head, I now see this hidden treasure which lies in front of me where I’m the only one who can feel its presence. The treasure of luxurious and beautiful literacy of art and knowledge, the colorful rainbow of various skills of time management, formal writing and public speaking skills shines all across my dull face ,and the rich sound of rattling gold coins under my hands which will enrich me with stable jobs and employment opportunity in the future. In short, I’ve grown to appreciate life more respectably once my vision opens this curtain of colorless yet rich gold resources of Bachelor Degrees and qualifications. Because when I have these sufficient knowledge and appropriate relevant skills under my possessions, I can generate my own ideas through the skills I have gained.
So why is it only now when I reach my early 20s, I just realize this great potency in me? Why am I slow to capture this marvelous opportunity? Why am I among the many who never get to understand the importance of education at the early age?
The answer is simple: it’s because how the school works. The schools’ curriculum and the systematic teaching methods adopted lack the motivational factors and inspiration to hone the pupils and students to realize the wonderful world of educated society. If I were to be given the opportunity to share my ideas on this matter, I would say that the best solution is to cater the needs of the young minds by providing modern teaching techniques which really pull out that myth of ‘school is boring’ and shower them with glitters of fun and stress-free environment at school.
Children between the age of 4 and 11 are prone to any outer influences like media and entertainment such as comics, movies, cartoon and video games. Increasingly, the wide spread disease of cyber network like YouTube, Google, MSN, Twitter as well as Facebook has been used by these young children. They know how to operate e-mails. They know how to register and sign-up their own accounts. They know how to buy things on Amazon via their parents’ credit cards. They know how to really utilize these sophisticated things in their early years! Modern generations are very skillful but very unfortunate. They are vulnerable to internet predators and the exposure of explicit sites are within their little finger tips. Although the risk of exposing these unlimited explicit sites to their young children caught the attention of many Bruneian adults, large number of them are not aware about their children’s equate ability in operating the internet. In turn, we must never undermined our children’s internet savviness nowadays. In effect, if young children can be easily influence by cyber internet wankers, why is it difficult for the Ministry of Education to see this as an opportunity? Is it not obvious that children love video games and love the happy, colorful lights shone by the computer screens? Is it not obvious that children nowadays love the ambiance sound made by Windows whenever PCs are switched on? (or Apple iMac for that matter)
Why is it difficult for the Ministry of Education to develop policies which in turn enhanced educational code of practice in prompting the students to have the natural habit of reading and writing? Do they intentionally neglect the opportunity provided by the surrounding modern technologies? Here’s an idea. Why don’t we have the policy in teaching these young children between the age of 11 to 16 on how to use e-paper and write their own blogs via wordpress or blogspot? Is it because of time consuming? Why is that? No financial budget to finance this idea? By encouraging young children to write blogs, they are motivated to notice their spelling mistakes or grammatical error quicker by the assistance of the computer proofreading tools. This will decrease high cost of wasting teachers’ time in marking the same mistakes over and over again as well as improving productivity in future workforce because when these children are mature, they will be eager to improve themselves by writing good essays regarding the nation’s position in the global market and also providing constructive criticisms on their current Government system, thus teaching them on how to write and think modernly.
Although this will encourage activists and radical thinkers to come out from their hide out under the soul of these young children, this is something that many Bruneian are lacking; low self-esteem and afraid to convey their own opinions. As a result, locals conform to the Government’s system of control subconsciously. (Full stop)
Modern era gives birth to better technologies and more efficiency on how to live our life differently. Therefore if the Government wishes to follow the flow of this river of modernization, the Government has to abandon their traditional ways of “read this, memorize this and finish this by tomorrow” and set course for adventurous avenue of “freedom of thoughts, breeder of creativity and rare outcomes”. Each pupils has their own capabilities. Once they become students of life, they will soon swim with the current waves of uncertainties and instability in the wide sea of challenges and issues. They can hold their breath under the water for the battle of better knowledge and qualifications, so that when they finally emerge out, they can actually see that one island which they call objectives, aims and missions. This island will motivate them to just swim and swim, despite the fact that their island is just a mirage, making them to blindly confront blurry objectives yet meaningful challenges in life and just swim endlessly despite the limitless uncertainties in the future to come.