It is a very unkind move by the Jabatan Pelajaran to put our seven years old kids through the LINUS test and then, segregate them according to their results.
I know it is easier for teachers to manage a class if the students are of the same level of capability. I know it helps the students if their classmates are able to catch a lesson instead of waiting for the slow learners.
But to do so within a month plus in a public school, at an age when they are too young to understand is a very stupid, unkind, bad idea.
You see, the LINUS test involves oral and written test on Mathematics and Bahasa Malaysia. We parents were not even aware of such exam coming.
One fine day in February, they call the students, give them a paper to read, answer questions in BM for the Bahasa Malaysia. Then, the Maths is in English and the children have to reply in English. Beside that, they have written test.
For our urban children, those whom had undergone a proper kindergarten lessons, it is not a problem. However, not all kids are like that. Some are too shy, some are too afraid and some need a bit of time to adjust to a public school.
Previously, all my children only get streamed when they are 10 years old, after spending three years in a public school. Now, our new Education Minister thinks it is wise. It is not. It is foolish not to think of the psychological effects on the students.
My boy told me just now, “Mom, you know the boy who shouts? He has to go to Biru class.” (The boy has some learning difficulties and shouts sometime.)
So, I told him, “So you kesian him issit? He no more with all of you?”
(He is very small size so the bigger boys usually helped him to pull his bag, tell him where to line up etc)
He replied, “No lah, if I pity him, it will make him feel more shame.”
I was so touched. He understand the meaning many of us don’t. He treats him as one of the normal kids.
I assured him, it is ok to feel for him. He may want to study like them but he just cannot because he probably was sick as a baby. I told him last time Dr. Cheang also told me Vincent kor-kor maybe like that when he grows up (which he never does, of course). And together we pray that Jesus will take care of special kids like them.
Now, that all the kids are segregated to the Biru (last) class, I wonder if they have specially trained teachers to guide these slow learners or are they left to fend on their own? Will this categorization greatly demoralise the parents as well?
Come on, Education Minister, they are only seven years old! Why choose the smart and the yet-to-cope kids and separate them? Dumb idea!