The Borneo Post today reported that only 28% of our labour force is skilled. The Government is planning to increase this number by 2020.
It has yet to dawn on our top politicians that skilled labour begins with a good educational system. Malaysia has always boasted that we have a great educational system. In the same vein, Malaysia loves to compare to lesser nations. As advanced countries look ahead at improving, Malaysia is fixated on looking over its shoulders and foolishly comparing itself with slower paced nations.
Our educational system including our universities are still not known for producing marketable graduates. We are not equipping our citizens and young minds with the necessary tools to be independent thinkers and innovators. In fact, we are stifling them with political intrusion in the curriculum. We are force feeding our young on only the information that political leaders want them to know. Sure we can produce more skilled labour by 2020 but they will just be clones.
Languages are still an important part of education. It will not only amalgamate a fractionated country but it will be an asset to a strong economy in a part of Asia where different languages prevail in a small geographical region. Our current system produces only at best a bilingual society. Even then, the standards of English is appalling. Why don’t our education system teach at least 3 languages in schools and maintain a high standard?
The ruling government claims that we need to take into account the rural communities and hence the need to lower standards. Perhaps they should focus on how to improve the level of competency in rural communities and bring them on par with their urban counterparts and not lower to their level. That would be a mistake leaving our nation to trail further as compared to other emerging economies.
We need to re build a nation after decades of destructive policies , which only served to maintain the political hegemony of the current ruling government and fatten the pockets of those connected to the privileged few.