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14, 15, 16….19A’s….what for??


This is something I don’t understand…..what is the need to have 15, 17 19A’s?!? I tak faham lah.

What does it guarantee? Maybe some media coverage and a place in a university….but then I could just as easily get that with 9A…. so kenapa membunuh diri dengan cuba membawa 15+ subjects….what room does anyone have left for personal developments…social skills, sports…fun etc? Sedih jugak lah..if all your youth is spent at home studying.

Does it guarantee you a successful career? Hell no….most of the time work has little to do with how well you can read books its a blend of soft and hard skills. We Malaysians focus sooo much attention on academics that our kids never have much room for personal developments and street smarts…..its sad. Americans are probably the opposite….sure they do focus on academics too but also ensure that students are able to grow creatively, socially as individuals. Our so called extracurricular activities are anything but lah….. most of the time they are not optional and just for cukup syarat.

Will she regret it someday? Don’t know lah….some of my friends that used to be top students…..regret not having enjoyed their youth. Straight A’s will get you the interview but whats going to land you the job is how you “sell” and present yourself….and that you can’t learn from books….that’s all about experience…..and for that you have to live life. Hiding behind books all your life ain’t helping….

I seriously tak faham obsession Malaysia dengan cemerlangan akademik yang melampau. So next year we’ll have someone have 20 maybe 22A’s. Insyallah when I have kids someday…i would want them to have a balanced youth..a balance of fun and academics.

You only live once :D

Kevin Zahri

I am a US certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 12 years experience. Over the years, I have published over 10 books, written for Men’s Health, other fitness and lifestyle magazines, hosted TV shows and appeared on various TV shows, programs and magazines. I am also an avid corporate wellness speaker and web entrepreneur.

More about me here or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

26 comments

  • Bro,.. maybe she want to challenge herself on how far she will able to manage study stress… Hence she’s hardworking, God fearing and also she had participate over co-curricullum at her school….

    If you read Utusan couple of days ago.. this girl loves spend her time cooking with her mom and surfing internet… So i yakin dia tak adalah memerap setakat buka buku sahaja…

    It’s true student with flying colour results will be easily get placed in university or pass the interviewed… actually we all know choosing course in University were the hardest thing to think about…

    The girl decided to take Pharmacy course… hopefully she will do it well

  • I memang have nothing against the girl…but I have a problem with our academic program that is purely build around academic achievements.

    Extra-curricular activities in most schools are very inefficient and usually dipaksa…..like badan beruniform and all…..

    forcing someone to do something will rarely prove fruitful la…imho lah :D

  • ermm..i’m also not quite agree with u la kev. u dont think u should accuse them of not
    “…to have a balanced youth..a balance of fun and academics….”
    i think they have their own life for them to be proud of, not us. What displayed on the TV or newpapers is how extra-ordinary they are. We can’t accuse them for not having a balance life-style.

    you have 100% rights to your children, yes you are. And also the kids parents. I saw the mon tv. I don’t see any nerdy behaviour for the straight A’s students so far. They also said, they have active participation on their co-curriculum.

    and as far as i know, my brothers who are in standard 1 and standard 5, they have to attend co-curriculum activities every wed and sat.it is compulsory but the teachers make sure they dont get bored easily. my point is, the education and stabilization now start from the begining.

    i think we should support them (is not that we should spoiled them by believing they could do it every single time). it is true, having a place in Uni doesn’t confirmed you to be successful in the future. But by having a great time of your life, makes you remember and wants to achieve more. doesnt it?

  • to be in this line, im partly agree, partly not..

    the idea to have 100 straight A’s pun doesnt matter if you’re not utilizing ur knowledge..

    but kevin, the way u express ur opinion, i guess it sound quite hash even you did not plan to do so..if i am the gurl, ill be kecik ati tau..

  • Yoshhhh!
    hmmm
    i agree with you kevin and aziya when you need to balance the academic and non academic..
    Amalina is one good example.. she’s not that “skema” … Excellent in both…
    i guess you’re bothered with the system.. that allow students take more than what they are suppose to take.. yes we are in democracy country(We have right to do anything) but sometimes.. the objectives.. the goal for a good purpose out of the boundry!!! :)
    Anyway, im still proud of our academic system. As long as our generation can feel and enjoy it, it will be proven later on… :)

    salamz.. :)

  • my apologies if I come across a bit keras :D … not my intention. its just frustrating how Malaysia keeps on producing book smart graduates that lack crucial soft skills….

    I’m not a big fan of our academic system…. it doesn’t allow you to grow as an individual.

  • “it doesn’t allow you to grow as an individual.”

    woooo… im the products of malaysian academic system.. do i not grow as an individual? erk?

    Just wondering….

  • zafi….. its a general statement. does not apply to everyone :D

    just like saying “malaysian drivers are rude”…in general its true but not across the board :D

  • luckily the accused girl to get 19A1 only get 14A1 4A2 and 1B3 so the old record still hold by Amalina…

    Yeah3 let just leave this people do what they want…as long as they are happy with their life…some people just love the enjoyment of study…so can u blame them for it? it’s like some people love in fitness and health and nutrition…you just can stop them from doing what they do best…blessing everybody

  • Kev
    just like you, sometimes I wonder why do they need to like sit for 14, 15, .. 19 papers and score all As? Is enrollment to university getting that tough that you need to show how good you are in academics. But then, who should we blame? The authority, maybe? Luckily I was born much earlier than all these kids.. otherwise, I might have to also be like them.. Anyway… congrats to all those A students.. :)

  • hahahhaha
    its ok for me if that your intention.. :D
    Anyway let think +vely… what ever happen, its all up to us…
    we know what the best for ourselves…
    Ya Xis, its not in my “zaman”, let say if im in that “Zaman”, i’ll be one of them… struggling for it.LOL

    Cheers!

  • mm..i think she has been an excellent victory that people shuld be proud of…at least it shows that there’s still exist among the malays someone that is still interested in academic achievement..rather to have many malays to be put up in many non academic competitions such as akademi fantasia..who will win..reality tv shows..etc..that will give an impression of ‘that is the only thing the malays are good at’..it is sad to see u know…and i shuld say people nowdays still value academic as one of the great achievement in live…cheers nadiah..:)..
    anywy..it is only an opinion..peace..

  • Hi Kevin,

    I don’t think the point is about how many subjects students take. The issue is the quality of those As.

    From what i hear, a student who takes physics, chemistry, biology papers can also sit for the general science papers (two of them, i think). So really, you don’t need to work that much harder for the As in the general papers. I mean, if you can get an A in physics, you get “free” As in the general science papers – know what i mean?

    What’s worrying is that students are competing based on how many As. Does anybody really question what subjects those As are for? Does anybody question why students are allowed to take so many similar subjects when it doesn’t make sense to begin with?

    Another loaded question is, what really is an A in a Malaysian school?

    Like you, I studied in the US as well. An A is nothing less than 94 in American universities (90 for an A minus), and most schools don’t believe in averaging (using the curve).

    So these 16 A students will have a shock if they now think they’re fantastic at school and study overseas, where the standards are much higher.

    Poses further interesting questions on the state of our education doesn’t it?

  • Kevin, I think achieveing string of As is now an obsession amongst students. These bright students are aiming to be the best on paper. I’m afraid these students would miss lots of things in life such as being versatile in socialising, mastering related soft skills, having a sense of independence, travelling (backpacking) with some inquistive minds, involving in interculturalisation and learning from others’ adversity. To measure success at SPM’s stage, in my opinion, is pretty much premature. I think, success is a subjective yardstick. I wonder how Bill Gates, a Harvard drop out could smartly dominate the world via Microsoft – he does not get many As, I assume. I wonder how Donald Trump, who did not do well in high school and university is a millionaire now. Thinking about it, I have come into my own conclusion that it’s all about knowing what you want to achieve in life. By the way, does by having string of As guarantee a balanced life later on? a hard question to be answered in many forms.

  • Bro Kevin, I don’w know what to say la. Totally agree with your opinion.

    Allow me to forward your article to Kementerian Pelajaran & local newspapers such as New Straits Times, The Star…I will convert it into Malay language myself and have it forwarded to Utusan Malaysia,Berita Harian,Metro & Kosmo..

    Be ready huh! Hehehe… :p

  • It’s a personal choice, really. It’s good that we have students scoring A’s and stuff. That shows how well they have done according to the syllabus..

    For me, I was educated under the International School system (overseas) and it seriously wasn’t about getting A’s. It’s about doing your best at your own level… I actually do not feel pressure to score straight A’s even though I was listen in the Honor Roll list in high school.

    It’s really sad to hear stories of students tucked away in a corner crying because they are not getting like 10? 11? 12 A’s?

    At the end of the day, it’s not a competition. (But with media reports of students taking lots of subject, I sense that IT IS a competition and there are those who want to beat Amalina’s record.)

    What for?

  • Hi everyone… hampir terlupa nak view balik this topic.. by the way i’m mostly agree that there are “competition” to beat Amalina’s records… It’s like challange beat the Guinness Records…. LOL

    Entahla kenapa… student with 7 to 9A’s macam dah terpinggir sikit.. because the media are more focused on student who had archieved like 10 to 19As ….

    Honestly many parents were bit uncomfortable when their children participate more in co-curriculum. The parents always stressed that “co-curriculum will NEVER help on their children success” … Hence parents selalu keberatan nak bayar yuran badan beruniform or other club (it’s happend to me.. i’ve to save some money and pay it for myself) …

    I think Univ. should raised the “enrollment ratings” for co-curriculum greds.. 10% is not enough… kalau tak ‘paksa’ macamana student nak didedahkan kelebihan co-curriculum kan???

    Honestly i prefer Amalina’s ways of life… She knows how to have fun with her life… bukan menjadi seorang yang NERD senantiasa…

    Have a nice day everyone

  • I’m not against these people scoring/targetting many As.

    It might be for self satisfaction/challenging.

    But what matters most is when you work. And think. And live. And adapt to life. And react to your surroundings.

  • what for???
    there are thousands of reasons i could think of…
    satisfaction, the urge from parents n teachers, self-esteem blablabla…
    i may not know it but it sure depends on the individual herself/himself..
    but i have to agree that m’sian education sys is kinda disappointing…
    A nowadays means C during the 90’s n b4 that…
    i know cuz my teacher told me so..lol
    so, i guess there’s nothing we can do bout it, juz cross our fingers…hoping that MOE will bring this issue into consideration…hohoho

Kevin Zahri

I am a US certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 12 years experience. Over the years, I have published over 10 books, written for Men’s Health, other fitness and lifestyle magazines, hosted TV shows and appeared on various TV shows, programs and magazines. I am also an avid corporate wellness speaker and web entrepreneur.

More about me here or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.