An MP from Perikatan Nasional today said that the government through the education ministry should refine and reevaluate the syllabus currently being taught in schools, describing it as too far removed from the ability of students at such a young age.
Ahmad Marzuk Shaary (PAS-Pengkalan Chepa) gave the example of the Bahasa Melayu syllabus for Standard One which he said had been divided into two levels, neither of which was appropriate for the standard of thinking of seven-year-olds.
He said even at a young age, pupils had been burdened by a syllabus that requires reading skills instead of skills that touch on syllables and the use of words.
He added that the syllabus forced children to be quick in mastering the 3Ms of reading, writing and counting.
"High-level thinking skills are also applied, which also burdens students," he said.
"The need for such skills will reduce pupils' motivation to learn and should be reevaluated by the ministry," he said when debating the motion of thanks on the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat.
Marzuk also said that the rate at which students are expected to achieve certain levels in their studies would also have an indirect effect on teachers and parents.
He said teachers would have to work hard to make sure that their students master the syllabus set at the ministry level while also dealing with clerical matters and taking care of three to four classes at a time.
"This is very tiring," he said. "Teaching would be a more enjoyable profession if teachers were able to focus on the subject at hand."