Enough of unemployable graduates in Malaysia, time to change after 60 years of Merdeka
There are certain issues that politicians and governments must stop politicising in order to ensure Malaysia continues to progress and be transformed into a developed nation.
Education is one of them. And of course the other two most important are racial and religious matters that can only shatter national unity, crippling Malaysia’s socio-economic development.
Gerakan Deputy Speaker Syed Abdul Razak Alsagoff said much had been debated and articulated in the past on education matters and policies but “nothing much seem to have been achieved to raise our education standards and quality of our graduates”.
He also stressed that the federal government had also ceased to be the employer of last resort, thus graduates need to seek employment in the private sector which is now the engine of growth for the Malaysian economy.
"Thus, the requirement to speak and write reasonably good English whilst achieving a good command of Bahasa Malaysia which is our national language and language of unity," he added.
“Education is the key to a country’s success because it is only with quality, effective and practical curriculum policies that produces quality human capital.
“And to produce a competent and talented workforce, meritocratic policies are required to develop the best brains. This, surely, cannot be replaced by bias and discriminatory education policies,” he added.
Syed Razak, who is Gerakan’s nominee to contest N.37 Bukit Lanjan in the coming 14th General Election (GE14), said Malaysia cannot hope to go far “if it continues to lose it’s talented and best brains to other countries”.
“There is a limit to enforcing discriminatory policies to help those lagging. And this cannot go on forever at the expense of losing the talented and brainy Malaysians.
“Giving higher education opportunities to groom the talented and brainy students without racial or religious consideration can only help stimulate Malaysia’s target of achieving developed nation status.
“It does not mean others are deprived of opportunities. These others may possess other vocational or technical skills. What they need is proper grooming and training.
“There is no point in producing millions of graduates but the majority are considered unemployable. Talent aside, all can contribute to nation-building, indirectly or directly, in one way or another.
“We need employable, creative, innovative and productive Malaysians to drive Malaysia’s economy to greater heights,” he added.
Here’s an opinion published by online news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) on the flaws in education and training:
"Flaws in education and training
December 22, 2016
We have succeeded in churning out millions of graduates lacking in confidence and acting immaturely during job interviews, with many unable to describe what they have studied.
By YS Chan
Although Standard 6 and Form 3 students have to sit for national examinations, automatic promotions allow most to remain in school until Form 5 to sit for the all-important SPM.
School leavers who don’t have to work to support themselves or their families normally enrol for a course at one of the many public or private tertiary institutions, funded by parents, loans or scholarships.
Good SPM results are essential for admission into public university courses with limited seats, as tuition fees at private universities are high and beyond the means of parents with average income.
A university degree is needed to work in licensed professions, senior positions in the education field or in government agencies. But in the private sector, paper qualifications counts for little when holders are unable to communicate and interact well with others.
Many Malaysians can speak several languages or dialects but are masters of none. They can chat for hours but may not be able to write an intelligent report or describe well something everyone seems to know.
Few Malaysians can think, speak and write clearly as clarity of thought is not given due importance. Many tend to generalise instead of being accurate or specific.
Access to vast amount of information does not necessarily make one well-informed, as such superficial knowledge has little application and minimal benefit.
On the other hand, mastering a language and mathematics will empower any student to excel in arts or science subjects, or professional programmes such as law or accountancy.
Deeper understanding and fuller use of a language would greatly help in personal development, which is grossly lacking in our education system, and not through rote-learning or memorising religious texts.
We have succeeded in churning out millions of graduates lacking in confidence and acting immaturely during job interviews, with many unable to describe in their own words what they have studied for a few years.
While parents are prepared to spend a fortune on their children’s education, hardly any of these graduates are willing to spend their own money to undergo training in order to perform well at the work place.
Training is essential for all levels of employees, more so for fresh graduates, as most do not have industry-relevant knowledge and skills, apart from soft skills needed to interact well with colleagues and customers.
But few people, including those in high positions, are clear about training. Many think that it is nothing more than a group of people listening to a speaker or watching fancy presentations.
Many trainers too are keener to impress the participants by disclosing fantastic facts and figures, than equipping the trainees with the much-needed skills and the right mind-set.
Key performance indicators of many organisations are measured by the number of people who have attended training and received course certificates.
Most of those who attend training are sent by their employers, with the better ones trying to learn something from the course.
Training would be more effective if participants are required to identify what they wish to achieve or their desired level of performance.
Trainees should think through in order to be aware of the challenges. They may not have all the answers but half the battle is won by asking intelligent or probing questions.
Trainers should not spoon feed trainees but guide them to find suitable solutions for themselves.
Finding the right answers may be the least of the problems as ready solutions are well known or easily accessible.
However, diagnosing problems or interpreting situations well can be very difficult than learning that requires mentoring, coaching or training. They must be set against the right context so that participants could apply at work what they learned in training.
If training is centred on delivering contents, it would be a waste of precious time as trainees can access that from books or online. Sadly, much of this so-called training are nothing more than briefing sessions, as little is remembered or applied after training.
Training is most effective when trainees get to speak or practise in a group of less than 25 participants, and contents learned are correctly applied in the right contexts.
YS Chan is an FMT reader.
With a firm belief in freedom of expression and without prejudice, FMT tries its best to share reliable content from third parties. Such articles are strictly the writer’s personal opinion. FMT does not necessarily endorse the views or opinions given by any third party content provider."