Sunday, August 1, 2010

Skipping School

"Hey, where were you on Tuesday?", I was asked. "At home. . . Studying." I replied to the confusion of my inquisitor. "Don't we come to school just to do that?"

Now, before you jump to conclusions, you should know that I do think that school is a very good place to learn and to built up a person in many expects: intellectually, emotionally, physically, etc.. But at times, school can become more of a burden and a place for social activities that it loses its effectiveness in educating students. Recently, I have been noticing that more and more students are becoming aware of this situation. Heard from a tuition class, "So many of us always skip school. Even the principal took notice and reprimanded us. But, what do we do when we come to school? We're just wasting time!". Well, that might be an exaggeration, but the words were along that line. And that was concerning the cream of the school!

So, why do we skip school? Basically, it starts when we realise that we can study more and learn more at home than we do at school. At school, we have to sing the school song, entertain or peers, and be engaged in a lot of tangential activities to our studies. However, the main reason is probably concerning the productiveness in class. Approaching the end of our teen years and the beginning of adulthood, teacher's are now unable to use "physical" (read: the cane, the hand) punishments to subdue our naughtiness. During these transition years, we are old enough that we have to be treated maturely, but still too young to act maturely. As a result, classes lose their effectiveness when students do not cooperate and do not do their work. Chatting is contagious and after a while, even those who really want to study end up getting frustrated.

Now, let me give you a rough idea about how my different classes unravel throughout the week. In English teacher is my class teacher; thus, a lot of time during English period is spent on administration. During actual English teaching, we learn our literature components for almost the better of the year. Although this really a good way that students can learn presentation skills, I think its a bit unprofitable to hear from someone what we can easily obtain from any good reference books. During essay writing, I am quite confident when I say that the majority of the class cannot complete even two paragraphs in a double period (one period is forty minutes). And that is really productive. Malay language is better in a sense that more work gets done, but concentration is still a factor.

Mathematics and Additional Mathematics class is beneficial when you lack understanding on a certain topic. After that, it is all about practice and practice. And I sure you that practicing problems at home is much better off without distractions.

And do I really need to talk about moral education and civics education classes? For moral, just get the format right and memorize definitions "moral values" and you're all set. Learning civics is a complete waste of time, along with it's patriotic purpose.

For the study subjects: History and science subjects, classes are really beneficial, provided you have a good teacher. However, memory work still plays a major part, especially for History and Biology. And to memorize, you need to concentrate. So, if you need to concentrate and you can't do so in school, is it not logically to stay home where you can?

However, there are those who never skip school and still do consistently well, for example Mr. J from my class. But, he claims that his home distracts him more than school does; thus, he finds school the better option. Plus, home studying is actually illegal according to school rules.

So, to skip school or not to skip school? My advice for students is to gauge yourselves in terms of self-motivation. If you feel you can study better at home and have previously successfully done so, by all means, do so. (Typically, these "study mood" periods come before an examination.) But if you can't study at home, go to school! At least, your subconscious mind might be able to absorb something.

So, do you now think I am justified in skipping school? I'll leave you with a saying from Winston Churchill (I think). And so he said, "My education was only interrupted by my schooling".

1 comment:

May said...

Mark Twain said, and I quote," Do not let schooling interfere with your education."

=P Printed that quote in defiance on the cover of one of my portfolios. Hehe.