Friday, 3 August 2012

Exodus from national schools and country

I was doing a status update on my Facebook to share an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) about home schooling.

I was going to say that it is starting to happen in Malaysia, too, and to illustrate I was going to say how many of our friends and relatives are not in the national school system, when it dawned shockingly on me that actually NONE in my family circle of friends and relatives are in sekolah kebangsaan. 

At minimum, they are in the Chinese schools, including Malays.

Those who can afford it are in international schools, and middle class ones are in hybrid private schools which uses Singaporean syllabus or a mix of syllabi from Malaysia and Singapore, but with the medium of instruction in Mandarin or English.

And this only accounts for those who have stayed on in Malaysia.

An even larger majority of those whom we grew up with in the national schools of the 80s, have left the country.

This I got to know, thanks to Facebook which reconnected me with old classmates.

In other words, as far as our circle of friends and relatives are concerned, only the minority are in Malaysia, and out of those none are in non-Chinese schools.

Isn't this shocking? While we were growing up, we were all in the national schools, including the CEO of TalentCorp, a classmate.

Now all of us are not sending our own kids to these schools.

What we hear is that all these schools have turned into breeding pools of racism and indoctrination. I was the third generation going to St John's Institution, and now I will break that with my kids.

We speak of the breakdown of our education system.

For us middle-class, it is already broken. Our parents sacrificed to get us an overseas tertiary education, and today, we have to start even earlier at primary education.

Education is the fundamental start of nation building, and as far as the Generation-X is concerned, it's broken.

This means that despite all the everyday debates and mud slinging politicians are mired in, and the resulting petty things that subsequently get reported in the media, which then becomes the national issue of the day/month/year, we have already arrived at the broken stage.

The working class may not be able to realise this, as they are most vulnerable to indoctrination and their options are limited.

But those in the middle and upper class have already realised this and the exodus is well under way. 

What are we doing about it, and what can we do about it? I really don't know. The majority of the people have reached that hopelessness phase.

Perhaps the Gen-Y are more vocal and would like to change.

As it is now, we don't feel any different from the Filipino whose purpose in life is to prepare oneself to be exported overseas and later treat home as a vacation place where things are cheap, and we have fond memories of relatives and friends.

Fear, uncertainty and doubt about changing government to an alternative one? No, it is more of certainty of slow and painful death that we don't change.

An easy test of how well we've integrated - can we make fun of ourselves without causing some religious/racial outcry/riot? A resounding NO!

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