I don’t know about you guys, but I think the idea of creating that High Performance School (HPS) list by the Malaysian government sucks. Isn’t that a form of discrimination? You identify who’s awesome, and give them incentives or shit like that, while the under-performers get nothing. It sends the wrong message to the young, don’t you guys think? That it is ok to stereotype, to discriminate, to discern who’s strong and who’s weak and give them preferential treatment.
Shouldn’t our children be taught how to treat everyone equal? How to help the needy? Sure enough, many think that the list and 1 million bucks would serve as a motivating factor for schools to work harder to get into the goddamn list. No doubt that the idea could probably work on some level… but in a bigger picture, I think this could cause a negative effect in the long term. For example, when a school fails to make into the list after putting enough effort to improve, it could also seriously jeopardize the morale of everyone involved. Not to mention the possibility of making the pupils feel inferior for being in a non-listed school. Parents on the other hand, will be more inclined to send/transfer their children to a listed school (kiasu mentality). The teaching staffs will also suffer some form of demotivation.
You see, you only mend the roof if it’s leaking. You don’t mend a perfectly good and non-leaking roof. It’ll be a waste of effort. Same thing applies, if those schools in the list are already that good, why would they need the 1 million bucks to enhance themselves? Shouldn’t the money go to those that needed the money most? I remember seeing headlines in the paper about schools asking for funds to fix their cracked walls, damaged desks/chairs, etc. Even my school once had to ask for donations from the alumni to renovate its facilities because it had gone to the stage of being dangerous to the students. How about that? I’m sure there are even more schools out there (esp the rural ones) that could use a little help to upgrade something.
Instead, I think the government should create an opposite list. Top under-performing schools of the year. Make it top 10 for each state. Then inject some PhD manpower into the schools as their personal consultant (since we have so many of those ‘meritus-meritus’), to review what went wrong and change the way they do things. Enforce KPI for the teachers and review their performance. Or perhaps to make things simpler, eat the humble pie and rope in some help from other top countries like Singapore or Australia. Ask them how do they do it. Pay them 200 trucks of sand for a contract to uplift our standard or whatever (our sand is pretty much useless to us anyway if our people are stupid and incompetent).
I’m just a stinking engineer and this is what I can come up with. I’m sure there are enough genius around to be able to come up with something even better. That HPS idea? That is so amateur. It’ll get us to nowhere.