Exam is not everything

My brother is currently sitting for his SPM now. As I am his elder brother, I have obviously taken the exam before. There are good things about exams and bad things about exams. The good thing about exams is that students can see how well they have done in school. Some of us need the challenge to prove to others that we are competent and that we can do everything that the teachers throw at us.

The Pyramid. A good way to encourage students to study… I think… not.

Unfortunately, the importance of exams has been overly emphasized in Malaysia. The common belief here is that if you don’t get good results in public exams, you’ll fail in LIFE. Therefore students are pressured to do well and since our education system is not tailored to everybody’s needs, some of us might not do so well.

Those who don’t do so well will get mocked by friends, sometimes by teachers, and even parents. Most parents are very competitive about their children’s exam results so they might not be happy if their children didn’t do well for exams. Unhappy parents means unhappy students and therefore they are pressured to do even better.

It’s funny if you look back after SPM. You’ve just spent the last 17 years of your life preparing to sit for 10 papers which will determine your future. Sure, the knowledge you have gained is very important. You obviously need to know what 1+1 is and how gravity works. But exam results shouldn’t determine your future.

I’m writing this because I just came across this news article today:

Year Six pupil found hanged

Subashini: Had been crying since obtaining her UPSR results. – Bernama

Quote from the article:
(Quote)Recapping the events that led to her death, Sivakumar said his daughter, who studied at a Tamil primary school, had been disappointed that she had not obtained the expected results in the UPSR examination.

“She had been crying since obtaining her results on Thursday,” sobbed Sivakumar, who said his daughter was a hardworking and bright pupil.

“I do not know what went wrong,” he added, saying that while she was confident of scoring at least 4As in the examination, the results showed that Subashini had only obtained 4Bs, 2Cs and 1D. (Unquote) Full article here.

This is an example of a devastated childhood. Instead of enjoying life, playing without a care in the world, we’re forcing our children to study and get good grades in their exams. Parents may not even be forcing them, but they are being forced because getting good grades is a norm among our society. Not everyone is the studious type. Not everyone can get 17A1 for their SPM. I got B3 for my moral by the way but I don’t go around killing people or robbing banks or vandalizing public property. In short, our exams don’t show the true potential in a person.

I blame this purely on our education system. Enough with memorizing facts to pass exams. And lower the importance of exams on future employment. Someone could be having a bad day when he took his SPM and he’ll be ruined for the rest of his life because no one would hire someone who failed 3 of his papers.

I propose that our education system be based on an overall assessment of a student’s performance instead of completely relying on exams. Exams will still be part of the assessment but it won’t be so important. What we need is a system that will make students think instead of getting spoon fed everyday. And we need to learn how to solve problems as well so we’ll be ready for the real world when we’re done with school.

Anyways, good luck to all SPM-ers. You still need your good results to enter college. Continue reading

Http-Tunnel tutorial

This post is for Cindy. Hope you can use your msn soon ;)

There are many great mysteries in this world. But none are as mysterious as the act of blocking msn ports and preventing people from chatting. But there are ways of bypassing this restriction. One of the easiest way is to tunnel through a proxy server.

Http-Tunnel provides free tunneling using their client software.

After searching for a bit, I found Http-Tunnel. Http-Tunnel lets you download their client and tunnel for free. The downside is you get slow speeds. But I’ve tested it with loading huge pages and videos and it’s acceptable. Today I’m going to show you how to use Http-Tunnel to tunnel your way out to the wild.

First step is to goto Http-Tunnel and download their client software. Here’s a quick link: Download v4.4.4000 . After you have downloaded that, install it and run it. You should see the screen below. Now before you do anything else, make sure that your Internet Explorer is working perfectly. If you’re using IE now to view this page, you’re set.

Click on “Use Free Service” to use its free service. Downside: slow speeds.

Now click on “Configure”.

Then click on “Test” to test your connection. This will help you configure the settings too.

This will show if it’s successful.

Remember this value. It should be 1080. Just in case. You’ll need it later.

Now go to IE’s internet options.

Goto Connections and Lan settings.

Now fill in the blanks. The port number should be 1080. Address can be localhost or

Now everything should be working. To test it out, goto whatismyip.com. This is what I get when I’m using Http-Tunnel.

Look, I’m from the US!

This should help you bypass any restrictions or any bans on any sites. It’s like you’re paying someone else to do the dirty job for you. With Http-Tunnel on, whenever you visit a website, your computer is instructing another computer (another computer in the US in my case) to visit the website and fetch the content for you.

I’ve tested it out with msn and it works. So hopefully this works for you all who are having problems with blocked ports and banned websites. Use this wisely. Continue reading