Thursday, 12 March 2009

004. Political Debate

*This turned out to be a really long post. Sorry, you could say I was inspired.

*huff**huff**puff**puff*, oh so unflattering.

Today was Physics Mock Exams. Can you hear the joy in my voice?
Lets just put it like this, the paper was interesting. And not necessarily not in a good way. But thats done and over with for now.
And, I had 2 trips to Burger King. Oh that place is so getting to me.

Only 2 more papers to go, Norwegian!
Skal vi snakke Norsk for i dag? 

Anyways, definitely no way I am going to blog in Norwegian, not just yet.
Today, Me and Marius went to watch Torbjørn in action in his political debate in school. "School and Economic Policies". I love political debates! 

The respond wasn´t all that good, but it was quite fun to say the least. Was really nice to see Torbjørn stand up for what he believes in regardless or not I agree with it. I wish I was more interested in politics though. Although generally I think all politicians are the same. They would say whatever to get your on their side, and above all, as long as your a good speaker. Or as they like calling it, a demogauge, your bound to get supporters. But, its true what they say, even then they are the one with power. Above that, we are the one who is having to put up with their policies, so I say, we should be influential. And we people= power = awesome.

The economic part of this debate wasn´t as heated as the school and Norwegian school policies. Mainly the topic was longer schooling hours, better and more qualified teachers, private and government funded schools, grades, homework, and school ranking and discipline.

Coming and seeing first hand myself the different school systems, I still cannot make up my mind as to which one I agree more too. In Malaysia the schooling system is absolutely different from Norway. Here is my short list of a few things that is different.

School times : In Malaysia our school (at least mine) starts at 7.40, we MUST be in school at about 7.20 so we can carry out our duties of cleaning the classroom, arrange the tables, etc. etc. There is a general assembly in school daily where we sing and recite an oath weekly. I would think this is to raise the sense of patriotism in one self. We end school late. Sometimes almost 7 pm with curricular activities and extra classes. (Minus the fact that we all have got to to tuition afterwards, and that last till about 10-11). This is slightly tiring now and then, but since we are so used to it. When I was there, I did not always feel it.

Teachers: I honestly believe our teachers were not too bad at all, and the Norwegian kids complain about how the teachers are not qualified enough, but compared to what I had, teachers here are rather excellent. At least the ones who have been teaching me. In Malaysia, teachers teach up to 3 or 4 subjects. They never specialize the way the Norwegian teachers do. This could be due to the fact that our classes were 40-45 students sometimes. And we were made to take 10-12 subjects. 

Private and Government schools: In my family at least, we can easily say that private schools are not any better than the average Government schools. Schools that I have been too, have been quite great. There really was nothing I could ask for more. Except perhaps private schools usually have swimming pools. But, I know other places I could go to swim. Plus many would like to say, private schools in Malaysia were for spoilt brats who cannot be bothered studying hard to get into good government schools. Infact, the best school in Malaysia happen to be Chinese Schools. They are half government subsidized. (I think at least)

Grades: Torbjørn had to take loads of criticism for this one. He wanted that students gets grades starting from a young age. While the other parties don´t. Considering I have been raised in such a way that I believe that grades are the only fuel I run with, its hard for me to argue for any other way. Although lately I have been raised with an issue, for example in Samordna, you need to get about 40 IB points to get into law school. Something I would not be able to do. But that doesnt mean that I will not make a good lawyer in the long term. So... something to ponder about.

Discipline: Dont even get me started. Its so true that the Norwegian school rules are so flexible sometimes its ridiculous. I could never imagine ever calling my teachers by their first name´s. In fact I think it is in the rule books that we are not to do that. Ugh, I cannot even bother writing how things feel in Malaysia and here. But, again. I cannot decide which is better.

School rankings: This one is interesting, how important is it to "segregate schools"?. In Malaysia, schools that have a higher percentage of good scoring students are called "control schools". This is where, you usually have to get good grades in order to attend them. Then within the school community itself you have even more segregation whereby we are all classed into classes based on our yearly grades, we call them "first class", "second class", and so forth. In my school, they even publish your grades for everyone to see. Sounds horrible. Yes. But, this made us work hard. And when I mean, hard. Hard. Its only human to not want to be embarrassed in front of others. So, we work as much as we can. Pushing every possible limits. Is it really that bad?, in Norway, so many students are incredibly smart, but they simply dont work hard enough. Even I have slacked so much since I was here 3 years ago.

None the less, just so I dont make the Norwegian system sounds stupid, there are so many things I have to praise. The best one being the fact that here in Norway, people are encouraged to be critical. Do not bluntly agree to what is said in the books. In fact we are encouraged to contradict and think for ourselves. 

So what if my opinions are so twisted and wrong?
They are still mine. In Malaysia, because we all want to do so well, we forget to think critically, all we do is memorize. I know many people who can literally, quote a book. And even when the paper asks for "your opinion", you give what you read in books.

Other than that, the fact that society doesnt expect you to just be doctors and lawyers, students can choose to do vocational courses or learn Music and Dance. In Malaysia that is almost a No-no. The smarter students are all expected to do Sciences, regardless if they do like it or not. 

Above that, one of my favorite things about Norway is that people dont judge you if you are wrong. In Malaysia I cannot imagine not getting a good grade. The way I would be treated would be miserable. Suicidal if you must. Its almost like Darwinism. Only we are not animals. But due to such a large population, it is partly vital that there would be that much competition.

So, really. How does this work, when you agree to parts of each party´s policies?

Remember what I said about loving to be on the phone :)
My ever so faithful, "Stopper du på Bodung?" station

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails