Sunday, February 22, 2009
Our Failed Education System
The Malaysian education system, evidently, has been deteriorating over the past 20 years. While exam scores have been on the uptrend, the quality of college and university graduates entering the job market has been on the decline. The number of university graduates that are unable to find jobs is an alarm signalling the decline in quality. A research done by a major management consulting firm found that only 11% of Malaysian graduates are employable by multinational companies. Most common weaknesses of our graduates include lack of communication skills, poor critical thinking and problem-solving skills, poor attitude towards work and possess weak ethics and integrity.
There has been significant money and effort spent to improve the Malaysian education system, such as the Malaysian Smart Schools project, the roll out of the National Education Blueprint and the implementation of the Cluster Schools concept. However, these have failed to bring about improvements to our children’s education beyond scoring straight “A”s.
As the Malaysian education system fails, Sarawak is falling behind in preparing our children for jobs, college and for life. When our education system fails, it brings down with it, all the foundations of a strong nation. Rampant corruption all along the government delivery system is the result of an education system that fails to develop individuals of high integrity. The lack of new indigenous technology, products and services that are developed in Sarawak, by Sarawakians shows that our education system has failed to develop thinking, creative, entrepreneurial individuals. The absence of emphasis on arts, humanity and sports in our education system has short-changed the overall development of our young.
These and many more failures of the current government continue to suppress progress and will continue to ensure that our beloved Sarawak lags behind all other states and nations. The failed administration of the current government continues to ensure that Sarawak will forever depend on the federal government for development aid and that many talented Sarawakians will continue to seek high-value jobs elsewhere as none are available locally.
We are anxious about our children’s future. We worry that they could become the first generation of Sarawakians to see their children do worse than they did. We remember that when we were all growing up, our parents knew that if they pushed us to study and work hard, the universities would be open to us and we could get any job we wanted. But today, parents in kampongs and towns all over Sarawak are losing that hope - they're losing the sense that their children will be able to prosper in the global economy.