Saturday, October 27, 2007

UNESCO brouhaha

The Education Minister, Hishamuddin Hussein, was elected to the Unesco Executive Board on 25 October 2007. And the brouhaha it caused among the local media was nothing short of spectacular.

If they had it their way, they’d have you believe that Hishamuddin Hussein was elected as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. And to top it up, his election was touted as “membuktikan negara mempunyai produk pendidikan yang diiktiraf dunia”, whatever that means…

Alas, the brouhaha is just that – a clamour arising for no good reason.

Firstly, there’s nothing much special about being elected to the Executive Board. Hishamuddin is just one of fifty-eight (58) elected members. Others include representatives from minor-league nations such as Niger, Albania, Cuba, Jamaica, Mongolia, Pakistan, and El Salvador.

Secondly, the sloganeering “produk pendidikan yang diiktiraf dunia” does seem to ring hollow, doesn’t it? What does it really mean? What international recognition are we talking about – if any?

After fifty years of Merdeka, what have we got to show in terms of education advancement?

Our children continue to be subjected to endless “experimentation” as a result of the politicization of the education system.

Just look at the policy on the use of English as a medium of instruction.

As our politicians stumble and muddle through it to suit their political interests, our poor younger generations are slowly but surely being turned into a confused lot – not to mention possessing poor language skills.

As a result, while the Malay students can’t even construct a single sentence in English without being littered with grammatical errors, the non-Malays would shy away from using the National language at the slightest of opportunity. This certainly does not augur well for our future unity as a nation.

To say that this is a sad situation would be an understatement.

I say this because it is at the schooling age that our children have the biggest opportunity to interact closely and make close friends with people of all races without any of the inhibitions and prejudices that we adults might, unfortunately, posses.

It is also here that they can get exposed to the cultures and way of life of other ethnic groups. Oh, what a fertile ground for nurturing and instilling the concept of muhibbah, isn’t it?

And from my personal experience, bonds of friendship developed over that period are the most meaningful and long-lasting.

Too bad our politicians are more interested in getting elected to the Unesco Executive Board in far-away Paris, rather than focusing on real and more pressing issues back home.




I totally agree with you.Please write more.

Wengc said...

Hello A.A Termizi,

I just stumbled upon your blog recently.....while seaching for "...all things Ipoh.." and there you are! I must say your comments were well articulated & most of all, I agree with them.

Need I say more...Well spoken for another IPOHAN! Keep on BLOGGING.