Saturday 21 January 2012

A different parenting and education system abroad

This is the article that I wrote to Parenthots...about sharing my parenting experience..


A different parenting and education system abroad

Being a mum of two toddlers now, I am very passionate in observing the development of my two boys (the eldest is now six years old and the youngest is two years old). I firmly believe that it’s a parent's job to encourage their children towards creative thinking and confidence.

I was fortunate to have the experience of raising my two boys abroad, when I was furthering my studies in Britain. As far as the British education system is concerned, the approach is to instil the concept of fun learning via exploration. Schooling starts at the age of five, hence my boy went to school when he reached five years old. He gained some advantages when he was schooling in Britain, apart from the language advantage – yes, he managed to converse fluently in English and with full confidence after two months of schooling.

At school, the teachers encouraged students to present in front of their friends, for example, to share a story about their favourite toys, what they did during the weekend, their holidays, etc.

I also noticed that my boy has a great passion for the arts and creative works, as the school syllabus has a large component of fun learning via arts (drawing, crafts). Other than the core subjects (language, science, maths), students have cooking class as well, even at the age of 5 years old! My boy loves to help me in the kitchen and he often says that: “Mummy, can I help you, because I learnt it at school.”

Essentially, parenting and the education system are inter-related as the education system will eventually influence and affect the parenting experience. In Britain, the education system does not burden the students compared to what we have in Malaysia, in terms of loads of textbooks and homework.

My boy (and older students in his school) just brought with them one school file/folder containing one book for their reading task every day. The daily homework is a reading task which is to be done with parents at home and there’s one report book to be signed by parents after reading is done every day.

Mathematics homework is given once a week, to be done on weekends. Personally, I was happy to see my boy enjoy school so much and he was not burdened with homework or exams! At his school, the continuous assessment is done by class teachers based on students' performance in class for the whole year, and not based on exams like what we have in Malaysia.

The other fun part of my parenting experience in Britain was that the primary school that my boy went to had lots of fun school trips, and some of the trips could be attended by parents, too! Trips to the toy museum, library, parks and theme parks are not something uncommon. The school even organised a teddy bear picnic in the summer which was so much fun!

In the winter, they had science projects like making frozen ice in many shapes - just by leaving those shape containers outdoors (the temperature during winter was below zero degrees).

Now I have completed my studies in Britain, my boys have to adapt themselves to a different system of education in our own country. But I am grateful to have had such a wonderful parenting experience abroad.

Suzi Fadhilah Ismail


Wan Amira said...

zharfan lucky sebab rasa education in UK.. and anyway, nice writing .. hope Malaysian government has this in their mind..

Cik Sibuk said...

hmm..saya perasan sistem pendidikan msia ni terlampau akedemik. tengok la zaman sekarang..budak2 darjah 1 pun ada parents dah hantar pergi tuisyen?! 1st day sekolah darjah 1 dah ada exam nak tentukan anak masuk kelas pandai ke..kelas kurang pandai.

sebab tu lah kelas kumon reader la..etc semua penuh..sebab nak bagi anak2 pandai2. walhal zaman kita dulu, saya ingat lagi. darjah 1 masuk sekolah kerja kaler2 aje. darjah 1 baca buku pun lom pass lagi. zaman sekarang ni? lain betul!

nak kata parents ni semua kiasu pun takleh jugak. habistu kalau kita tak buat benda yang sama, abis la nanti anak ai masuk kelas bodoh..ishh..takleh jadi ni.

mungkin budaya asia jugak kot, semua berkejar2 nak 'pandai'. kalau kat obersi, kelas kumon 90% orang asia lah students nya..

habislah kalau anak2 saya balik msia, memang kena masuk kelas tak pandai lah..sebabnya umo dorang kat sini belum lagi belajar benda advanced macam student2 di msia. masih lagi pergi sekolah main2, lompat2, enjoy jadi budak. tak ada stress buat homework melambak2.

eh..terpanjang lak komen..sori eh..

Ummi Danish said...

nice writing. actually malaysia mmg la agak ketinggalan dlm system pendidikan. but as a parents, we can try our best for our kid/s. klu ada rezeli lebih, cari lah sekolah yang bagus.
mcm my danish, seawal 1 thn 6 bulan i da masukkn dia ke early development centre. baru 2 mggu masuk, he can fluently talk in english. skrg da 2 years old, langsung tk ckp malay but he understand malay. sometimes, dia akan ckp in malay with english slang, sgt kelakar but i am proud coz i know he know both language. and at 1 yrs 7 mth, he already know all the alphabet and numbers. klu tgk development danish, same as 4 yrs old development. i mmg puas hati dgn pre-school danish. tk pe la byr lebih... pre school tu ikut exactly Britain style(cambridge english for life CEFL) same as Zharfan kindy. i rase u can sent them to this centre sbb mmg carenya same mmg sgt berpuas hati :)


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