Extended period will mean 12 hours in schools

  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 18 Feb 2003

I DO not agree with the Perlis Mentri Besar’s move to extend school hours. 

I sincerely hope the Federal Government will not follow suit. Can you imagine a seven-year-old child in school for nine hours? 

The mentri besar said parents would be happy to fetch their children as they, too, finish work at the same time. Who in the world finishes work at 4.30pm except for civil servants? 

Most children take buses and by the time they reach home, it would be 6pm. How do you expect these tired children to revise their school work? 

And if school hours are until 4.30pm, when are the extra-curricula activities going to be held? Will these activities drag on until 7pm? 

Great! Then schools can keep the children for 12 hours a day. The children will be like wilted flowers by the time they reach home – and they would not have time for anything else.  

Most children these days attend many other useful classes after school hours, for example: piano, music, art and cultural dances. 

These are useful, besides formal education, in building the character of a child and in giving a balance development of the right and left brains.  

However, it seems that children will no longer have time for all these after the extended school hours. 

Tuition has also become an important part of the education system now.  

Students attending tuition classes have shown improvement in their performances. 

This is, in no way, a reflection on the teachers' abilities. Parents understand that the classes in schools are big and teachers will not be able to pay individual attention to each student. 

Moreover, not all students in one classroom learn at the same pace.  

Some may be fast learners and some may need a longer time to understand what is being taught. Thus, tuition classes are of great help.  

Moral, English and Arabic languages will be taught during the extra hours? Do you need an extra three hours everyday to teach these? 

I do not understand the rational behind this.  

If the MB thinks that these moves will curb immoral activities, why take the responsibilities away from the parents? So that the parents will have more reasons to blame the school? 

The character and the personality of a child depend mainly on his upbringing and the family background. 

Of course, peer group also plays a role.  

Keeping the children in school for longer hours will not solve the problem. 

I hope more parents will come forward and express their views. 




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