ONCE again, we return to the perennial question of the kind of education system that we have.
There seems to be a grave confusion with regard to what we want from our students against the interest of the general system.
Extrinsically, we are encouraging them to memorise and get high marks, even perfect scores.
Yet, intrinsically, we are also demanding they must possess critical thinking, creativity and persuasive discourse. This is a contradiction.
How could we expect students to possess critical thinking when we are not encouraging them to speak their minds?
How can we expect students to express themselves if they lack the necessary training?
Teachers are obligated to inspire and guide their pupils to think, to wonder unceasingly, to dare to ask questions, to speak their minds courageously, and to be confident.
It is my fervent belief that the ultimate duty of the teacher is to teach his students not what to think, but how to think.
A true teacher is the one who can gear his students to think for themselves independently of the teaching and the rearing and the training of the teacher himself.
He or she must teach them to craft their own paradigms, to discover and consequently construct their own truths, to nurture and create their own structures and foundations, to posit and to simultaneously answer their own queries and questions.
By Jose Mario Dolor De Vega, Subang Jaya, Selangor Source: New Straits Times Letters to the Editors 02 September 2012