Wednesday, November 5, 2008

School hours in Malaysia

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.

14 comments:

Mommy said...

I agree totally.

My daughter went to school smack in the city. She is in the afternoon session. When it rains in the evenings, her school bus will get stuck in the massive jam. She will reach home between 8.30 and 9.00 - depending.

Very often I get home much earlier than her but due to our opposite locations, I am not able to fetch her from school as it meant a big detour for me.


It is a premier school therefore I feel that she will benefit from studying there.

Chahya said...

Sangat setuju!!! When are you going to get into politics? I'll vote for you.

Queen Of The House said...

Agreed wholeheartedly too. My children, when in the afternoon session, get out at 6.30pm (primary school) and 6.45 pm (secondary). Either my husband or I would pick them up. Sometimes we get stuck at the office or in traffic (esp when it rains heavily) and the kids have to wait till well past maghrib. The secondary school is in a secluded place and except for the guard, my daughter would sometimes/often be the last to leave. Most other kids just walk home but we live quite far. The primary school teachers would grumble and scold the children if they are picked up late (sebab cikgu tak nak tunggu after 7 pm). Cikgu ingat kita kat kampung ke?

One session schooling would at least solve this problem of kids still being on the road when it's already dark.

jabishah said...

You know I remember writing essays about this single session issue back in uni.Which means way in the 90s this idea has been highlighted.
Now, Im married with 4 girls it has not been implemented. What does that mean?
N'way, I showed Yasmin your comment. She is doing pretty good. Will share the vid of her if I hv the chance. Tx again.

Patricia said...

Yah lah, what happened to the one-session only schools? I know some schools in KL have only one session.

My kids are grown and finished with this. But it was bad for me, too. And too silly lah: kids are tired and learn nothing; teachers are tired and teach rot!

So what purpose does it serve to drag things on for hours and hours and hours - well after any usedful purpose is achieved?

Pat

hanitha said...

Salam bro, setuju teramat setuju..
tu la, jgn la bg alasan tkde bajet.. bg ex-gratia ader lak duitnya.. nie demi masa depan generasi malaysia, dorang mahin2 lak.. tp masalahnya, biler dh wat bangunan sekolah, ble lak terbengkalai n tk selamat tuk anak2 kite, aper citer tu?? (marah nie..)

Jarod said...

haha! aiyo... as all of us know, the GOV rather spend the money on their ambition than on school. Putrajaya, eurocopter, yada yada... That is why now a days students also face pressure! Come home late aje, parents cucuk kao kao... some parents not understanding... school bus reach home late, they scream at them. Who cause it? Duh!

There is so many weaknesses in school alone. LAzy 2 list it out. Given the opportunity for me to be PM, i change it all! hahahaah ... dream a lil dream :)

Oldstock said...

-> Hi there mommy,

Firstly, welcome to this blog. It's a bit tough on the kids but I hope your daughter will continue to study hard. Thanks for dropping by.

-> Chahya, I'm not cut out for politics lah... I find it difficult to tell a lie ;-)

Oldstock said...

Hi Queen,

Yes, I feel sorry for the kids. There was this one time I was late to pick up my son. He was all alone and the area was getting very dark. When I reached there, I could see the fear in his face... tapi belum sampai tahap menangis lagi.

After that, I vowed not to be late any more.

Part cikgu marah tu... susah jugak nak kata. Some teachers feel their responsibility ends when the last bell is rung for the day. But I know some dedicated ones who take care of their students the whole day. If MoE at least try to do single sessions, there'll be a lot of relief on both parents and teachers.

Thanks for the visit and comment.

Oldstock said...

Ja,

Yes, I remember this issue being discussed years ago. But sadly nothing happens. It seems that this aspect does not merit any consideration at all. Dah berapa ramai menteri pelajaran bertukar ganti tapi tidak seorang pun membuat perubahan yg bermunafaat.

Glad to know that Yasmin is doing well. Selamat bercerita! :-)

Oldstock said...

Pat,

We know things are tough but we do not find ways to make them easier. The government really need to listen and take action. But unfortunately they have different priorities now.

I need to find a way of getting my voice heard. Maybe I'll write to the Education Minister...

Oldstock said...

-> Hanitha, releks beb. Tak perlu marah-marah. Kita cuba buat perubahan. Mudah-mudahan satu hari nanti kerajaan akan lebih peka terhadap masalah rakyat.

-> Jarod, yes the government is seen as being extravagant and wasteful on many projects. I do not necessarily oppose all but I do hope they would be balanced.

Defence and security of our nation is important but the well-being of the country's citizens should be top priority.

Mark Lyndon said...

Wow. What time do they start? School hours in the UK are normally from 9am to 4pm each day (Monday to Friday), and in Germany from 8am to 1pm. It's really difficult having children at school in Germany, since if you have three children, one might finish at 12 one day, one at 12:30 and one at 1pm. The next day, a different one might finish at 12, and one of the others at 1pm. Unless you pay for afternoon childcare, it makes it really difficult for both parents to work.

Imran Rajawali said...

It's good school in the afternoon session ends at 5.30pm , but isn't this will effect the school hours ? Most afternoon schools starts at 1.00pm or 1.30pm and ends at 6.30 or 6.45pm . If we early it , there will a crowd in the morning session . Maybe 2 school session isn't useful . But the population keeps getting bigger by the year . Oh well , we must be patient . But really school in KL , if taking the bus , children will arrive at 9.00pm ? Wow , in Ipoh the most late is at 7.30pm like that . I can't say anything else but , be patient , there is always a bright star behind all this . To make it easy , there is a hikmah behind this . Smiles ^_^