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Saturday, August 22, 2009

You Don't Need To Understand This, Just Memorise

One of those few phrases that endlessly mocks me in my face and separates me from the rest of the world is this : you don't need to understand, just memorise. It's almost similar to "You don't need to know, just go and study" or something like that. Studying gives you common knowledge, the same thing as what everyone else is going to learn. Knowing, on the other hand, assures you a wider scope of knowledge, wisdom of different intensities in different life experiences, which makes everyone special in some way or the other. The main problem of the "You don't need to understand, just memorise" phrase is the fact that it's directly related to major assessments of one's thinking ability. In unfortunate cases like this, it should mean that I possess no such intelligent ability as I only understand, not memorise. And if I can't make some cow sense out of something, I don't remember it. So, in some way, I might be A Very Stupid Person.

I'm not sure who made this phrase up, but it sounds very much like a law to me. To try and memorise something you don't understand is like telling a kid to go read up the Theory of Special Relativity and then regurgitating all the facts he acquired for everyone to admire. The last time I heard the return of this phrase was from genii Adrian, Melissa and Natasha. Zi Ying and I refused to dignify this statement with acceptance, and went on defying it.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with Adrian, Melissa or Natasha. Although the tone of the post sounds like I'm deeply agitated with the phrase used by the three of them, I'm not. I'm actually supposed to be poking fun at the education system, which only requires students to memorise useless information to pass.

What Adrian, Mel and Natasha said is TRUE, so I'm not denying it. You can't do much with the EducationSystem like that. Three of them are right in the sense that memorising is all you can do at the present moment, unless you're plotting some national riot or something as grandiose as that. So yes, I acknowledge the fact that the only way to pass is to memorise stuff, but it would be more helpful if there is a reason as to how things work. Just be aware that the fact that we have to memorise random things which doesn't seem to make sense (mathematics is excluded from this list) is driving me insane.

A very good example of how the Malaysian education system works can be seen through the implementation of the Moral subject. The subject sounds very encouraging. One cannot be blamed for thinking that students would actually be brought to old folk's homes or orphanages to exercise their goodwill and contribute to the better of society. What students actually do, however, is not in any way associated with moral qualities. The poor souls have to MEMORISE arbitrary moral values along with MORE arbitrary moral definitions.

Moral values are categorised into different sections and every moral value has a NAME for it. And you have to follow what the educationists named it, otherwise kiss goodbye to your precious marks. If you changed one word in the name, which is usually a phrase, it's still considered wrong to the experts. You even have to DEFINE the moral values in EXACT words. One keyword missing, and your head will be one the chopping board.

Yes, the education system has reduced respectable moral values to nothing more than words. And these words are supposed to be memorised "so that students' moralities will improve". How this is supposed to encourage good deeds and improve our behaviours is beyond my grasp of imagination.

I hope I've cleared the air about the controversial phrase, which was actually the main reason for this post before I steered off topic.

Oh, and before I forget, good luck nerdifying yourselves for the upcoming 2nd wave of trials. People have always believed that the second round of everything is the worst. Take the tsunami and H1N1 for instance. May all the students survive the impact.


5 Comment(s):

Melissa said...

well, it's not that i say 'you don't need to understand this, just memorise'. i only say that because if you dont memorise, there's no way i'll ever pass our exams with our education system being that way. so what do i do? just memorise to pass the bloody exams -.-

Ĺăžчβöйєŝ © said...

Chill, Mel. I wasn't focusing on you. I was focusing on the phrase. It's not the first time I've heard it.

Yeah, and that's the reason why I HATE the education system.

Melissa said...

*pokes more fun at the phrase*

meh, i think studying for art is not much use. our kerja mingguan and other stuff carries quite a lot of marks. besides, we'll never see the subject art ever again. (unless you decide to take it next year.. which i dont think you will)

Zi Ying said...

Haha! You reminded me about KH! Yes it may be too late, but I'll still go and rant about memorising things without understanding them (not exactly that, but more like Why I Love The Batai-ans Although They Scream At Me). And yes, people, we all know that the Malaysian Education system sucks.

Ĺăžчβöйєŝ © said...

>Mel> Yup, the art thingy is true.

>Zi Ying> Lol? Heh, everyone can agree on that. =)

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