Is SPM results really that important? Is this “Straight A Culture“ even healthy for our nation’s future leaders?
So, how is this “Straight A Culture” promoted?
Government? Educational system? Teachers? Parents?
We are not trying to point any fingers here but to increase the awareness that this “Straight A Culture” might not be the best way to educate our next generation of Malaysia’s leaders.
According to a recent news report by News Straits Times, the overall performance of the 2015 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations took a dip compared to the previous year. Out of 440,682 candidates who sat for the examination last year at 3,501 examination centers nationwide, 9,721 (2.38 percent) scored straight As compared to 11,289 students (2.63 percent) in 2014.
As much as our government wants to promote “Straight A Culture”, many of the officers at our Department of Education do not understand the ultimate purpose of education is not to force 440,682 Malaysian students to memorize the textbooks and get straight A’s to become “false image” of being a good student or successful individual in the future.
Referring to a Malaysian Digest’s report, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among youth! 89% of the studies showed that suicide attempters had secondary level of education compared to primary and tertiary. Due to the lack of data of this survey, as our government focuses more on economic and technological development trying to realize our far-fetched 2020 Vision rather than mental and social welfare, we do not know much about the cause of these suicide cases. But with the available data that we have, it is not a bold statement to say that our “Straight A Culture“, especially for our PMR & SPM students (our secondary level of education), is one of the main triggers for most of our teenage suicidal cases.
Many of the parents still think that it is hard to find any employment if we do not have good academic results. In contrast with that, many of our younger strongly object the importance of academic results in the real working world. There are countless disappointed fresh grads are still unemployed despite their exceptional perfect 4.0 CGPA only to realize that their higher education certificate is nothing but a trash paper that you can use to practice your “free throw aiming skills” with the trash can. Working experience and strong communication skills are still crucial for anyone to land their dream job.
Just last year in late 2015 during SPM examination period, the local TV series teen actor Tang Yi is believed to have committed suicide on Tuesday (24th November) due to exam-related stress. It is said, according to Oriental Daily News, that he was unable to cope up with the pressure of being unable to answer Additional Mathematics questions for his “Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia” (SPM). Tang Yi is best known for his role as Yahoo in Malaysian version of “Justice Bao Jr” and a few other Chinese-language TV series. The young local actor has been described as a brilliant student by his school teachers. Previously, he obtained straight As for his PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah). As for his SPM trial exams, he scored 9As 1B.
Tang Yi previously confessed to his family that he was disappointed about his SPM trial result. Thus, It is believed that the exam pressure heavily affected the actor and caused him to commit suicide, thanks to the “Straight A Culture”.
Upon reading this sad news, our whole editorial crew at MalaysianStudent.com would like to pay our deepest condolences to the family member of Tang Yu.
Next, we also want to share a great article written by My FM DJ Royce Tan (Chinese name: 陈志康). It was written in Chinese so we have translated it into the English version for those of you do not read Chinese.
Below is an English translated version of the original piece that he publish on his Facebook timeline on March 22, 2013.
[Enter Royce Tan’s article]
It’s SPM results today, I guess a lot of people must be experiencing a lot of pain.
Especially when we realized that our results were not as good as expected, we couldn’t help but feel that we have become the disappointment of our family and ancestors.
I want to share my story, if you are also frustrated by your academic results, I urge you to listen to me.
I still remember my SPM results back then, I only had 8 A’s (6 A1’s and 2 A2’s).
Based on our results, I probably ended up being the last 10 students in my class. I had been studying hard with the SPM Past Years Questions and I even attended countless tutoring classes in the evening; despite my serious effort in my studies, I still wasn’t able to get the academic excellence I was aiming for.
Then, I was committed to do better when I attended college and I got CGPA of 3.92 out of 4.00. I wasn’t happy with it because I got one B for one of my subjects. I felt pretty guilty of the flaw I had.
During the same year, I had the chance to go the United States of America for school and I met a friend who was an international student from Brazil. He was my senior in college at that time and he had mediocre academic results. Little did I know, my attitude towards academic results completely changed because of him.
He came to the United States alone and he supported himself through school financially all by himself. Every morning, he would attend his class. And in the afternoon, he would work at his two part-time jobs until after 11 pm. Then when he got back home, he would find time to cook and do his homework.
For the sake of saving money, he was really resourceful in DIY lot of stuff around the household. Like fixing the electrical appliances, cooking, changing lightbulbs, and even any trivial household chores, he would always a lot of research to figure it out. Regardless of his busy schedule, he was still able to join me in different extra-curricular activities, and occasionally he would also bring along his girlfriend to join us at the Chinese restaurants for dinner.
We graduated together, I got CGPA of 3.80/4.00 and he only got CGPA of 3.0/4.0.
From him, I realized that your academic accomplishments only proves you are a successful students, but it doesn’t prove that you are also a successful individual. Flash back to when I was still a student in the US, I can’t even change my own light bulbs at my apartment, what’s the point of even having a perfect score in my CGPA?
My Brazilian friend had already accumulated a full page of working experience before he graduated from college. If you were an employer, would you hire someone with related working experience or a college graduate with 4.00 CGPA and zero working experience? If you do not even know how to communicate effectively, how are you going to thrive in the real working environment?
From the very first day of my work until today, my boss didn’t even care to see my SPM results.
You have more value to the society if you are independent, dependable and wise in decision making. There is no need to worry too much about your academic results as long as you have done your best. You future does not depend on how well you do in your SPM or college exam papers but your character and attitude.
Nowadays, there are more students who study very hard and get good grade, but there are lessser students who graduated with wisdom?
Seriously! Even if you got 10 A’s in your SPM, I won’t give you my respect just for that. Without any real life experiences, you are just a student with no value in any practical creation or production. 🙂
[End Royce Tan’s article]
This article has been shared at least more than 50,000 times via different Chinese media online. The comment box of the original Facebook post by Royce Tan is also filled with tags and comments from students to students to remind themselves not to put too much pressure on themselves for the sake of satisfying our “Straight A Culture“. This culture is merely a lie promoted by our government to show that they have done their job to improve Malaysia’s educational standards.
So, what do you think?
Is SPM really that important?
Do we need a revolution in our educational system?
Tell us what you think in the comment box below.
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