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Can We Admit That Learning To Play The Recorder & Other Skills In School Were A Waste Of Time?


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Source: Provided to WOB & Bernolin

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Disclaimer: This piece reflects the writer’s opinion. It does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of WORLD OF BUZZ.

To all the teachers reading this, no hard feelings!

Picture this. You’re a 14-year-old high school student, you hear the bell ring and you notice it’s time for the Kemahiran Hidup subject or more literally, Life Skills. You’re informed that you will be going to the school workshop as for the next two to three months, you will learning how to make a wood pencil stand or more commonly known as kerja kayu.

Isn’t it ironic that for a subject called Life Skills, we barely learn any actual life skills? Our taxes are due in another month and I’m still clueless! How did learning how to make a pencil stand help me as a 24-year-old? What’s worse is that some students don’t actually do the project and just went back home and employed their father’s help?

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Another peculiar thing to note is that, in my school, girls and boys were taught two different Life Skill subjects. While the boys were taught Kemahiran Teknikal (Technical Skills) such as electrical, woodwork, and electronics, the girls were taught Ekonomi Rumah Tangga (Household Economy) which included sewing and cooking. Doesn’t this feed into the deeply-seeded patriarchal society we live in?

When are we going to accept that cooking and cleaning is a basic life skill and not a gender role?!

Here are just some suggestions I have that I believe should be taught during the Life Skills lesson instead:

  • Taxes
  • Financial literacy
  • Resume writing
  • Mental health
  • Human rights

Now that, your Life Skills subject is over, you trudge up to the music room for the Music period. Now, this is a subject that actually had a lot of potential. This subject could be the time students de-stressed with music and dance while also unearthing any hidden skills they had.

However, due to poor execution, what we got was a full hour of mindlessly blowing into a recorder. Did anyone enjoy this? While it’s understandable that the recorder was probably the cheapest item the school could afford, what benefit did it actually bring the students?

I personally can’t think of any of the songs I played besides the nervousness I felt while playing to my teacher and constantly running out of air. Even a simple subject like Music was burdened with grades and homework that ultimately, just became another subject that students needed to pass. Nowadays, students can get more inspired to study music from TikTok and YouTube rather than the actual subject.

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Now, Music isn’t a subject I feel should be abolished from our schooling system but instead, it can be restructured to more of a free and easy period. With the vast genre of music available nowadays, students can be encouraged to play or sing their favourite songs whether it’s BTS or The Weeknd.

There are so many other things we learned during our schooling days that upon further pondering, was just plain useless! Yes, we’re looking right at you, abacus. Do you think these should still be taught in our schools? Let us know in the comments section!


Also read: “Some parents can’t afford it” M’sian Feels School Uniforms Should Be Abolished

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