Parents fed up with education policy flip-flops

Fed up with policy flip-flops, brainwashing, parents turn to home-schooling

An outdated school system, education policy flip-flops and religious indoctrination are among the reasons cited by parents who choose to home-school their children.

This is despite the fact that primary education is compulsory in Malaysia and permission from the Education Ministry is required if parents want to keep their children out of school, which is usually only granted if a child has severe health problems.

And because most parents do not have approval from the authorities, it is impossible to estimate how many children are being home-schooled, whether at home by their parents or at “learning centres” under the guidance of tutors.

Author Chong Wai Leng, who runs a support network blog for parents of home-schoolers called Learning Beyond Schooling, says there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that the “unschooling” concept, as she prefers to call it, is growing and not limited to the main cities but smaller towns, such as Port Dickson and even in Kota Baru.

Another indication that home-schooling has more followers since it started in Malaysia more than 20 years ago is that there are more and more new faces, especially young parents of all races, spotted at events organised for home-schooled children.

Chong said there were many reasons parents opted to home-school their children, but one of the more recent factors was disillusionment with the schooling system, which she described as “messed up” and subject to policy flip-flops.

There were also parents who have to deal with children who disliked going to school, she added.

“Kids today are exposed to technology and learning from the iPad from the time they are in the womb but then have to go to school and use wooden chairs and tables, and in addition have to cope with so much writing and homework.

“There is a real mismatch right there between the children of today and how schools are teaching them.

“Technology has advanced so much, and in the West, for instance, they do things differently, they are not so bogged down by curriculum, but their children learn just as much, if not more.”

For Jessica, it was the creeping religious indoctrination and her lack of confidence in the school system which prompted her take her eldest son out of a reputable government school in the Klang Valley.

The 46-year-old mother said who only wanted to be known by that name said there was too much focus on one religion in public schools, while those of the other faiths were neglected.

“Indoctrination was one thing, but the neglect of the non-Malay students was alarming at the government school my son attended. They just leave them on their own in class while the Muslim students went to solat camp and other religious activities.

“Then there was the case of the English test paper that was full of grammatical errors to the point that even the students were making fun of it.

“So I took it to the principal, and after staring at it for five minutes, she could not find the mistakes and said she saw no issue with the paper.

“That was the limit for me,” Jessica told The Malaysian Insider.

Fed up with policy flip-flops, brainwashing, parents turn to home-schooling
16 January 2016 – TMI


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