…HOW TO EDUCATE MALAYSIAN STUDENTS AND NOT TO LOSE THEM TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES?
By Mansor Puteh
NOW CAN ONE SAY THAT TO MAKE MALAYSIAN UNIVERSITY GRADUATES MORE COMPETITIVE SO THAT THEY CAN ENTER THE INTERNATIONAL JOB MARKET IS GOOD? IT IS NOT. IT DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL.
WHY MUST THE COUNTRY SPEND SO MUCH TO EDUCATE ITS CITIZENS ONLY TO ALLOW THEM TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY LATER AND SERVE FOREIGN COUNTRIES?
And I don’t think those who choose to stay back are not the ones who cannot make it abroad. They were not meant to do that, but to stay back to serve their own country and not of the others.
At the same time, there is no stopping anyone who chooses to leave the country to work elsewhere, especially in more developed countries in the west.
Few would want to go to countries which are less developed for obvious reasons that they only want to work and live in countries where they can benefit the most and their lives are easy and comfortable.
Some are even willing to forsake their identity and live in foreign countries and almost lost in the crowd of local people where they cannot take part in the activities of the society they live in.
Whereas, when they were in Malaysia, they were vocal and expressive; in their newly adopted countries, they tend to be quiet and not utter a word of displeasure, even when they are only holding to jobs which are considered to be too low for the academic qualification and experience.
Yet, they do not complain and are totally immersed with life there that they do not consider having another.
This explains why of the many hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who had left the country to work abroad and later take up citizenship of those countries, there is hardly any of them who can be considered to have excelled.
Those who excel are those who operate restaurants and hotels. There is no one who has excelled in their own professions.
Worse, they are not even able to insist on having their way with the schooling of their children all of whom have to enroll in the local schools and not in the vernacular ones that some of them thought were important to them when they were in the country.
So it is also not fun to read about the one Malaysian student who had excelled in Singapura coming up tops in the 'O' Levels proves many things.
One thing’s for sure is that this proves that the students of Singapore are not that smart to allow a Malaysian to study in the country to come up tops that they can’t even get one of their own kind to get such a result.
So it could be because we are not smart, but because they are not so.
And this should be seen as a plus for them, but a minus; because despite the first class facilities they have in their schools and perfect syllabus, their students still do not make it right to the top, whose place is taken by a Malaysian who had to wake up earlier than their students and who have to commute everyday and cross the Causeway across the Straits of Tebrau to study in Singapura.
But what about the Melayu Singapura students who had come to Malaysia to study at the universities and who now have degrees which they could otherwise not get in Singapura?
How many of the Melayu in the republic who have to leave the country to get education in Malaysia so we can do a survey on it to find out how they fare there?
This is despite the fact that he only scored 10 A-s, whereas there are many Malaysians who had managed to score more than a dozen A-s, so much so that it is not news anymore.
So those who want to think that there is 'brain drain' should look at the whole issue in a wider perspective.
Then the fact that the student is from Malaysia should be a plus point to the country and not a negative one in, that Malaysia has provided him with the right environment where he could excel in his studies.
If he were a Singapore citizen and had lived all his life in the country, then one cannot say if he was able to score tops because he will be influenced by the environment of that country which may not be conducive to him getting good grades.
It is also ironic how there are many Singaporeans with good university qualification who do not find it interesting to work in the republic. They prefer to go elsewhere to find better employment opportunities.
I am sure there are many more Singapurans who are just waiting for the right time and opportunity to leave the country to work abroad, even if they end up working in the many Chinese restaurants in England, America and Australia.
But alas, most of them can only fantasize living and working abroad. And alas again, none of those amongst the better qualified amongst them has been known to excel working in those countries.
At the same time, there are also Malays who had chosen to work abroad and teach at some of the prestigious universities in England.
One can now say cynically that it is good for the government to improve the quality of education in the country since that can bring about 'brain drain' where Malaysians with first class degrees are taken in by other countries to serve them.
What Malaysian universities and the education system should be doing is to create the necessary manpower to supply the needs of all the industries for the development of the country and its economy.
And they should be done in such a way that find some of our best qualified persons opting to work abroad thus defeating the real purpose of educating Malaysians.