August 19, 2016

Let children spread their wings

NOW that the exam season for the primary and secondary school students is over, many parents are contemplating where to enrol their children for summer. Parental support in education is perfectly welcome, but care should be taken that their support does not amount to pressure.
Myanmar has lagged far behind many of its neighbours in terms of quality of education. At the root of the country’s failing educational record is the placement of undue emphasis on exam results in the pursuit of higher pass rates. Acting on instructions from above in order to appease officers of senior rank has corrupted teachers to the extent that they provide students with answers to tests and exams. This has led our education system down a destructive path.
Another thing that holds back the country’s educational mechanism is the widespread belief that a silent classroom is a good classroom. The contrary view, held in many countries with strong education records, is that teachers have the responsibility to embrace and create an interactive learning atmosphere in which children are allowed to challenge them. There are clear indications that children learn best through interaction with the teacher and their peers. In fact, education is a process in which students should be encouraged to develop critical thinking instead of memorising texts without understanding them.
It is, therefore, imperative that schools and training programmes provide environments that help to unlock students’ creative talents and critical thinking skills.


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