Just a short post on serious stuff for today.
My youngest son is in the first year of secondary school. He's in the afternoon session. Occasionally, when it is convenient, I would pick him up from school on the way back from work.
Last week, while waiting for my son outside the school gates, I overheard a conversation between a parent and a schoolbus driver, lamenting about how late the school ends. The afternoon session finishes at 6.45pm and given the early sunset time these days, most kids get home after dark. For schoolchildren taking public transport or the schoolbuses, they reach home at around 8pm to 9pm. Ideally, I heard the parent say, kids should be safely at home by sundown. As it is now, this is not quite possible for those in the afternoon session. If you consider our children in Sabah, where the sun sets earlier than in Peninsular, they are even more unfortunate.
I tend to agree with this comment. Schools should finish at around 5 or 5.30pm for the day, so that the children don't have to spend the maghrib hours still on the buses. For this to happen, Malaysia need to implement a single-session system. To achieve this means building more schools.
If I were the Minister of Education, this is something I would aim to do, apart from making teaching an attractive profession by improving the incentives and benefits. Don't tell me our country doesn't have the money. Just today, the government announced a RM7 billion economic stimulus package.
It's never too expensive to invest in our young and future generation.