Saturday, August 9, 2008

No Pleasure In Learning

AFTER reading the letter “Mindless homework no help to students” (The Star, Aug 6), I definitely agree with the parent and understand what the children are going through.

I am a 15 year-old teenager myself who is also sitting for the PMR examination later in October, and I have hardly revised my studies for the examination which will determine the stream I'm entering in Form 4, due to the same reasons stated in the letter.

The point is, I'm just one of the many “victims” in the country being overloaded with homework given in every subject we have for the day and are expected to hand them all in the next day. Most of the homework come in the form of notes, notes, and plain old notes.

Maybe writing our own notes will improve our understanding of the subjects and being given lots of exercises is a way to practise what we had learned in the class before, but definitely, as a student, all I remember for the year is sitting at the table right after I come home from school and working on my homework and stopping only to take my meals.

Even so, I still have to stay up till 3am just to complete my homework and avoid getting into trouble with the teachers.

Furthermore, I'm a prefect. And that position comes with the expectation that we have to be “perfect” role models to other students. By the time I arrive in school, I cannot concentrate in class and am unable to pay full attention to the teaching.

I'm sure that there are many students going through the same situation. What is the point of studying if everything just revolves around homework, assignments and exams? Studying should be for the knowledge that equips us to become useful citizens, not just to complete the syllabus!

And of course, the extra classes. The teachers constantly remind us that extra classes held by the school are for our benefit to score in the exam and therefore, they have made it compulsory for all students. But then we also have tuition classes to attend as well.

We go for tuition classes because we have the choice of improving on our weaker subjects and not all the subjects that we are required to attend in school.

The extra classes are normally held for long hours and after a whole morning in school, I doubt the students can even think anymore by the time they go for afternoon classes.

Personally, I think it would be much better for the students to have a choice whether they would want to attend or not.

A recent survey in The Star shows that more schoolchildren and teenagers are getting stressed out than ever before. Something has to be done to produce students who enjoy learning and at the same time, teachers who also enjoy teaching to mould us into wise and useful people of tomorrow.

Masai, Johor.

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