Selangor Journal

Don’t make education a political pacifier

Referring to Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s speech at the Hutan Melintang last April 30, I welcome the government’s noble effort to target 50 percent of our citizens to acquire diplomas and degrees by 2050.
The target is in line with a developed-country status including United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) condition that the prerequisite of a developed country is that 70 percent of its nation should have higher education.
Nevertheless, in this effort, the government should not focus on the numbers of academic qualifications alone but base on the nation’s requirements and needs.
There should be an emphasise on a long-term plan and it should be monitored. The government should understand the need and set the direction to prepare the workforce based on future technologies and innovations.
21.01 Konvokesyen persijilan masjid negeri (ASRI)
Therefore, I would like to recommend that the government and its agencies fulfill the 50 percent target of citizens having a degree by 2050.
Will the programme provided be in the form of an Undergraduate Skills Programme (USP)? Why don’t the government emulate the policies that Singapore is implementing with regards to this matter?
Singapore is implementing the Skills Future programme to help students acquire skills to face changes and innovations so that they don’t lag behind compared to other progressed nations.
Skills Future is very beneficial for the citizens there especially for the youths in acquiring skills at every career stages. Do these kind of programmes exist in Malaysia?
I hope Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s statement will be a reality and not merely an Umno-BN political statement to pacify citizens without any effort towards it. This is because the Umno-BN government do not have the budget nor the political will, although the Deputy Prime Minister might have the good intention to ensure the strategy succeeds.
I also do not have the confidence in the cabinet ministers’ professional intellects and experiences for them to have the capacity to support and ensure the success of this noble aim.
The goal is also not realistic in view of the Higher Education Ministry’s lack of budget to add Higher Education Public Institution (IPTA) in the country.
I suggest that IPTA and IPTS (Higher Education Private Institution) collaborate to ensure every society benefits from the aspect of locality and cost.
At the same time, IPTS would also be contributing rather than competing with IPTA.
This would also relate to the unemployment crisis at the moment.
If the government only wants ‘numbers’ to fill their Key Performance Index (KPI), why not just abolish the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) and replace it with diploma (based on specialisation, science, technical and other critical fields).
In this way, students would save two years out of their education years whereby that exam result is not even given much emphasise in the job market nowadays.
* Dato’ Seri Dr. Santhara is KEADILAN National Integration Bureau Chairman

Top Picks

Labohan Water Treatment Service Plant Handover

Editor Selangor Journal

Azmin – I Deny This Vicious Libel Upon Me

Environmental Concerns Inspire Lecturer to Innovate Bamboo Straw