Do you know that we once had "Program Sekolah Bertaraf 5 Bintang, 4 Bintang, 3 Bintang" ? I remember hearing from educationists that schools also had a classification called Sekolah Premier.
Now, at the national level, we have 20 Sekolah Terbaik di Malaysia. Does it help to improve our education system and competitiveness among students or schools ?
The star ratings of schools did not, the Sekolah Premier status did not. I have more questions in fact.
- How will justifications of budget allocation to schools be done ? Do we give a large chunk to the best schools or do we give a large chunk to the under performing schools ?
- Do we go all out to focus on the creme de la creme - i.e. best teachers, best allocation funding, best facilities, best programs, best rewards ?
- Or do we trade our focus away from the elite schools and spend time nurturing or developing The Last, The Least and The Lost (I think we should) ?
- Will there be proper monitoring systems on the 20 best Malaysian schools so that the PTA, the Board of Governors and the School administration do not abuse their status for higher school fees, "expedition of application", membership fees for co curriculum activities or use of facilities ?
I once heard that some Premier school(s) encourage "donations" to be made to the school funds if the Parents want to enrol their children there.
But browsing through the list of top 20 schools, 10 of them are full residential schools !
Aiseh Tan Sri Muhyiddin, this is not right. The list has so many residential schools which are not accessible to all students - only the creme de la creme with quota policy as well.
We aren't sure if it is because of the school, the discipline, the commitment, the environment and the teachers that contributed to the successes or is it due to the fact that the pool of students are already the best among the rest ?
I was surprised to see VI or SJI not among the list, to be honest. Come on.
Victoria Institution, Catholic High School, St. John's Institution (Najib's alma mater) are also elite schools who have produced CEOs, Directors, Ministers, Politicians and Academicians.
Year after year, they produce top folks you know ?
Having said all these, I heard that the Japanese education system ranks their schools too. I was told that La Sallian schools are among the best in that country when I was studying in Japan.
My only worry is that The Last, The Least, and The Lost will not receive ample attention if the hype surrounds the elite schools only.
Now, there are plans to extend the list to "100 best schools".
Just a suggestion, the Education Ministry should take a look at this - My schools : Private vs Public by Australian Government (Julia Gillard).
The latest news article explains Rudd's plans to expand the My Schools Website. Read it HERE.
We should do the same to compare the academic and non academic achievements of private and public schools, or something similar.
I think Rudd Government's guidelines and regional comparisons are better. And someone should read TSMY's KPI by Syed Akbar Ali - PM must change team