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Do you know that children from one country in this world are not required to sit for an exam before the age of 15? These children have not abandoned their studies, but have strong ability to learn and think independently!
This country is called Finland. I had the privilege of studying in this country, my heart was pounding with excitement, because the Finnish education system is the best example of being “children-centred” and they also proved that the “children-centred” education system is effective and successful! Yelaoshr’s educational philosophy is on the right track!
In Finnish schools, students under the age of 15 do not need an exam. Teachers will just give the children some assessments, such as giving them some quizzes after learning some chapters to test what the children had learned and what they have not learned. After the assessment, the teachers will adjust the lesson content to ensure that the children can learn and absorb the knowledge taught by the teacher. This alone is very different from the education system in Malaysia. They pay great attention to “teaching” the children instead of “finishing” the syllabus at hand. This coincides with the concept of Yelaoshr. We do not classify according to the age of the children for lessons, but we determine their abilities before sending them to appropriate lessons. This is the key to really “teaching” children.
Another point that is vastly different from our country is that every school in Finland may be teaching different content! How did that happen? That is because different students, the levels and standards are naturally different, so the school can decide what the children need to learn according to the children’s actual situation and the learning situation in the classes. Some schools even discuss with their students about what sort of knowledge students are interested in in order to come out with the syllabuses and content that children wants the most.
Under such a teaching environment and system, students can truly enjoy the “effective learning” education provided. As what they learn in class is the knowledge they are interested in, so during classes they are not dull, the teachers do not need to use the cane to discipline the children as the children will quietly sit down and concentrate in class. The fact that the children have a certain degree of decision-making power in determining the content of the lessons, this indirectly cultivates the children’s ability to think independently, because they are exploring what they want, what they want to be; unlike our children, try asking them what they like and what they want to do and many children cannot answer you, or even dare to say what they like to do. Finnish children will tell you eagerly that they want to be carpenters, tailors, nurses, not the “standard answers” of doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. that we generally hear.
Nowadays, with information exploding through the internet, it allows us to reach out to limitless knowledge, so in this new era, learning ability and innovation are important. With learning ability, children know what methods to use to explore knowledge; with the ability to innovate, children can break away from the “general” frame and bring more progress to society.
OUR MENTALITY SHOULD CHANGE WITH THE PROGRESS OF THE TIMES.
Times are changing, and the education policy should of course change accordingly. Our Ministry of Education has begun to take the first step, which is to announce the cancellation of exams in the first to third years of primary school. Therefore, the mentality towards our children’s education should also change. Parents should fully support their children to develop their unique potential, and observe the challenges they faced while studying so as to help and guide them, and not just to criticize and scold the children for being lazy, less motivated and so on. In addition, I found that on social media, many parents are criticizing that the examination questions are deep and hard, and the textbooks have many kinds of thinking problems that deliberately make it difficult for the children. In fact, these are all deliberately made by the Ministry of Education, the purpose of them is to improve the children’s high-order thinking skills. Meanwhile, parents find it hard to accept because we underestimate our children’s ability. We should believe that our children can accept a new education system. I believe that after leaving the comfort zone, children will be able to challenge more difficult problems and learn more. Overprotecting our children, thinking that our children should not come in contact with high-order thinking exercises will only hinder them from moving forward.
Instead of complaining, parents should start from themselves to really understand what the educational content of these high-order thinking content as these are the materials we have not seen before. We can first try to understand what is a picture book, what is the questions with high-order thinking skills and think about the direction of future education trends, then can we be qualified to cultivate a new generation of children.
As for the teachers, it is necessary for us to start self-improving ourselves in this aspect so as to design a truly effective way of teaching the children to stimulate children’s interest in learning. If the teacher can make changes and improve the whole teaching process instead of just filling up the children’s learning time, this can really help the children to progress and grow.
To make children better individuals, we must start from ourselves because we are models of children. Moms and Dads, educators, let us work together because education in Malaysia is promising and full of hope!
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