kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Watch and learn, kids

WHILE adults rail against the perpetrators of the UPSR leaks and demand for heads to roll, this nation’s 12-year-olds are learning a very early lesson in life: sometimes, life throws you a curveball. This is supposed to be the year in which students learn about realising their academic potential and that hard work pays off and laziness does not. This will be the first time in which they will see how they stack up against the rest of the country. And, for many, this will also be the first time they have to deal with serious academic disappointment and the lessons of picking oneself up, dusting oneself off, setting a new target and focusing anew.

So, whoever would have thought that this year, thanks to the leaks, the UPSR would come with extra, value-added lessons for our young ones?  With “freedom” coming three weeks later than anticipated, the mind-busting task of staying focused throughout the exam period is now compounded with the frustration of having to resit a paper that has already been sat.

And, if they had not yet encountered the phenomenon of cheating before, could there be a better introduction than this? In an ideal world, children should never even know about the murky world of cutting corners, unfair advantages and gaining leads through Machiavellian means. In an ideal world, these same children should also grow up to be honest and upright citizens. However, the sad reality is that it is impossible to completely protect children from the corrupting force of adult avarice — even if indirectly, such as in this case.

But, as with other lessons in life, the takeaways from this incident can be positive or negative, depending on how parents, teachers and society choose to shape the event in the students’ interpretation of life. For now, the best that society can hope for is to vaccinate the child from this socially-corrupting disease of stealing and cheating.

And in this, we have a real opportunity to teach our young ones about integrity — on a very big, national scale. Besides not giving in to the temptation of profiting from a leak, the need to report instances of cheating and how just a few unscrupulous people can really mess it up for everyone else, this is the time that our children can learn about crime and punishment, and about transparency and accountability.

No other instance in their lives — not even the Auditor-General’s report — is ever likely to directly impact the lives and hold the attention of so many people; and at so young an age. The thoroughness of the investigation, the justness of the charges and the trial, the speediness with which the case is brought through the courts and the catharsis of a conviction will be a lesson they will carry well into their adulthood. But, for that to happen, this is an exam the relevant authorities have to themselves pass first.
NST Editorial 14 SEPTEMBER 2014 @ 8:04 AM
Tags: assessment, pentaksiran, upsr

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