LETTERS: THANKS to the progress of the nation so far, we are first-world enough to raise children to be gender equals, more now than ever.
However, the efforts by some across the country to raise children to be gender equals are being challenged.
This matter demands the Ministry of Education to make changes accordingly. The issue starts with the ministry where yearly school performance statistics reported for national examinations discriminate between boys and girls.
One may ask, how does a simple statistical analysis of such a matter cause harm?
The answer is, it does when the schools apply quotas for male and female students to qualify to enter better performing classes in schools.
We should apply the iceberg scenario where only a small part is visible. It will be inaccurate and speculative if such quotas are also used for computing the national examination results and admission into local universities.
So, right from school, boys are being conveniently given quotas that the ministry has created for the male students to get into better performing classes in schools and universities.
This leads to pertinent questions: Will a male student, who is a product of such gender quota implementation, continue to discriminate the females in the workforce because of his sense of entitlement to the quota, i.e. his birthright as a male without having to work for it as much as a female in his cohort?
Should female students continue to be discriminated by having to live with a glass ceiling that is present simply because the male students are performing worse than them but there is this quota to fill for male students?
The female will be more resilient of course. In fact, thanks to the motivation of the family, she may turn out fine.
But how will the male be resilient without the effort needed to be in the best class or best course? Isn’t this taking a step back into gender inequality?
Co-ed schools are segregating students into classes by their learning performance which is measured by examination marks. Using a quota system for males and females is just an excuse by the teaching workforce who fail to understand the learning differences between male and female students for them to reach their potential.
It seems the education system is saying that males are intellectually challenged compared with females, and thus the need to practise gender quota for getting into the better classes in schools and courses in institutes of higher learning.
We should be working towards resilience of both genders. We should be working towards preventing a vicious cycle of gender biasness being instilled at the grassroots itself.
Even if the system wants to change, it takes time to execute the changes. For the moment, brace yourselves for this continued form of gender inequality.
UMA SHANTINI SIVAPRAGASAM
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times